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A community response to alcohol and other drug issues in the City of Yarra

Penington Institute connects lived experience and research to improve community safety in relation to drugs.
It is too easy to judge people who use drugs.

Legal or illegal, the misuse of any psychoactive substance impacts us all.

At Penington Institute, we think it’s far more productive to prevent and tackle drug use in a safe, effective and practical way.

Risky behaviours are part of being human.

Our focus is on making individuals and families safer and healthier, helping communities, frontline services and governments reduce harm, respect human rights and improve the rule of law.

Founded by needle exchange workers and people with lived experience of drug use in 1995 as a peak body, The Association of Needle Exchanges (ANEX) grew into Penington Institute, named in honour of Emeritus Professor David Penington AC, who led Australia’s early and world-leading approach to HIV/AIDS.

Like Professor Penington, who remains our Patron to this day, we confront the most important issues and champion innovative evidence-based action to improve people’s lives – no matter how challenging our perspective might appear.

A not-for-profit organisation, Penington Institute’s research and analysis provides the evidence needed to help us all rethink drug use and create change for the better.

We focus on promoting effective strategies, frontline workforce education and public awareness activities. Our work has a positive impact on people, health and law enforcement systems, the economy and society.

An independent voice of reason on drug policy, we are a straight-talking ally for practical insights, information and evidence-based action for people in need.

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