The Federal Government has announced that the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW will lead the establishment of a multi-million dollar National Cannabis Control and Prevention Centre.
The Government will commit $12 million over four years to the centre, which will be located with NDARC, on the University's Randwick campus.
NDARC leads a consortium of members from universities, institutes and the non-government sector nationally: The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), ORYGEN Youth Health, The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), The Ted Noffs Foundation (TNF), The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Lifeline Australia.
"We are very excited to have this opportunity to develop the first centre of its type in the world," said the Acting Director of the Centre, Associate Professor Jan Copeland from NDARC.
"Australia is an international leader in the development and evaluation of interventions for those with cannabis dependence.
"The Centre will work to educate the community about the harms associated with cannabis use and provide information and training for health professionals on the delivery of evidence-based interventions," she said. "We will also be supporting a range of new service models for cannabis users and their families via telephone helplines, mail and the internet."
Professor Copeland said about one in ten of those who have used cannabis would become dependent on the drug, with around 200,000 Australians dependent on cannabis in any one year.
The Minister for Ageing, Christopher Pyne, who also has responsibility for policy on illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco, made the announcement last week.