Survey on the deterrent effects of drug law enforcement being run by UNSW

The Australian government expends an estimated $1.7 billion on responding to illicit drugs every year, with policing comprising 64% of this expenditure. One core assumption underpinning this investment is that police can deter, discourage or prevent drug offending. It is argued that drug laws and enforcement of those laws will reduce involvement in drug use and trafficking. But, there remains very limited research into the extent or nature of deterrent effects. One cause of this gap is methodological. The absence of attention to this issue is increasingly problematic as there is concern that some of the newer "deterrent" strategies, such as drug detection dogs, may lead to adverse impacts.

To address this gap the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales have initiated a project which seeks to provide the first comprehensive assessment of the deterrent effects of street-level Australian drug law enforcement: taking into account impacts of four different mainstream policing strategies (including drug detection dogs) and two common settings of policing. This national survey is the first component of the project, developed to look at the ways in which different Australian policing strategies may impact on drug and alcohol use and drug selling at outdoor music festivals and licensed entertainment precincts.

Go to to complete the survey


Would the research project be a good fit for me?

Yes, if you:

  • Are aged 18 years or more       
  • Live in Australia
  • Have been to at least one outdoor music festivals AND one licensed entertainment precinct in the last year


What happens if I decide to take part in the research project?

If you decide to take part you would complete a short web-based survey.

The survey is anonymous and will take about 15-30 minutes to complete.

To participate go


Will I be paid to take part in the research project?

You can enter a draw to win a $200 JB Hi Fi as compensation for your time.


Who do I contact if I want more information?

If you would like more information follow the link to our research page:


This project has UNSW ethics approval, reference number HC15529 and will be run until December 2015