About the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research

The Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research (CRF) conducts broad, relevant and independent social science research about treatment, policy and prevention in the field of drugs and alcohol in Denmark. The CRF has existed as a centre at Aarhus University since 1993.

The aim of our research

Based on our scientific research, we aim to help strengthen and develop professional treatment initiatives in the field of drugs and alcohol, contribute to more informed political decisions, prevent drug and alcohol problems and provide general information about Danes and their behaviour in relation to drugs and alcohol. As such, our research focuses on treatment, prevention and recreational use - i.e. using substances for personal enjoyment.

Why we conduct research into treatment

In Denmark, as in many other countries, there is a large group of people who consume unhealthy amounts of drugs and alcohol. It is important that these people are offered academically well-founded treatment. At the CRF, we help develop and upgrade substance abuse treatment in Denmark by developing monitoring systems, providing valid research-based data, conducting evaluations, developing methods and engaging in an ongoing dialogue with practitioners and decision-makers within the field.

Why we conduct research into policy – alcohol and drug legislation

The centre’s research into drug and alcohol policy helps to critically assess both national and local decisions in the area. We do this by e.g. studying how drug legislation has developed over time in Denmark or how laws and regulations on drugs and alcohol are translated into practice by e.g. the police, prison staff and therapists. We are also looking into how drug and alcohol treatment is organised in Denmark. This includes collaborating with other players such as the psychiatric treatment system and job centres. This is important because we know that a number of people have complex problems with both substance abuse, mental disorders and unemployment.

Why we conduct research into both substance use and prevention

In Denmark, the focus is on both the prevention and reduction of problematic substance use. At the CRF, we study initiatives aimed at minimising personal injury such as injection rooms and heroin-based treatment. We also help assess preventive initiatives on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, we believe it is important that we as a society also have knowledge of peoples’ problem-free use of alcohol, drugs and medicine. Most people use these substances to some extent, and most of the time this takes place without any problems. We study which processes may contribute to turning a problem-free use of substances into a problematic one. The use of alcohol and drugs among young people, adults and the elderly is a widely debated topic among politicians and citizens. This discussion also concerns morality and values, and we want to contribute to a more informed debate with knowledge and relevant perspectives.

Our work is interdisciplinary

The CRF employs psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, epidemiologists and others. The different approaches of the various professional groups allow us to form a complete picture of the areas and issues that we study. Our research results are based on questionnaires, interviews, register-based data and field observations, and we conduct both quantitative and qualitative research.

Communicating our research to our academic peers

To ensure that our research meets high academic standards, we publish our research results in international and Danish scientific journals and books, which are subject to peer review and scientific criticism. Employees at the CRF also participate at research conferences, and we organise scientific conferences and seminars on an ongoing basis. We also publish the book series 'Samfund og rusmidler.'