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Our Role

Like it or not, drugs are a part of every society.

It would be naive to think otherwise. And cruel to ignore it. And, while we don’t encourage drug use, there are other things that we will always encourage.

Understanding. Openness. Empathy. Communication.

The reasons people use drugs, including alcohol and pharmaceuticals, are countless. Risky behaviours are part of being human. We need to understand that, not condemn it.


At Penington Institute, we believe in approaching drug use in a safe, considerate and practical way.

We seek solutions, not scapegoats. We strive for positive outcomes, not negative stereotypes.

We follow evidence and data, but we temper it with compassion and empathy to create change for the better.

Our default as a society has been to pour scorn on those who use drugs and judge them harshly by seeing their problems as self-inflicted.

But human beings are complex, and so is this issue.

Judging is easy.
Helping is more of a challenge.

How do we rise to that challenge?

Our focus is on making individuals and families safer and healthier.

Our goal is simple: to help communities and frontline services reduce harm and to make public policy work for the people, not against them.

We won’t ever give up on that goal, or the people it exists to serve.