About Us

The Museum of Drugs is a Registered Charity (1181946) in the UK and an internationally renowned authority on the history of substance use.

Our unique collection of antiques and historical artefacts tells the story of human relations with psychoactive substances, from their role in early evolutionary development and survival, through to warfare and criminalisation in modern times.

The Museum of Drugs encourages harm reduction approaches and supports people who are experiencing drug and alcohol problems to access community services.

The Museum of Drugs helps to challenge stigma and the inherent inconsistencies in legislation, which continue to adversely impact on lives at every stage of the production, supply, and use chain.

The Museum acts as a resource to academics, researchers, writers, students, the television and film industry, and the general public. In addition, the Museum has supported the promotion of a range of film and book projects, delivered training on current drugs policy within the context of a historical narrative, and provided presentations and lectures on the subject of substance use history and legislation.

We achieve our charitable objectives through public exhibitions, lectures, and theatre.

If you would like to collaborate with us we would love to hear from you. There are many ways in which we can colaborate including, but not limited to:

- Exhibitions at hitory, arts, education, health and social care events

- Lectures, seminars and presentations

- Applications to grant making trusts and other funders to support shared ventures

If you would like to discuss an idea you have please contact us at


Our people:

The Museum of Drugs, was established in 2008 by the following founding members.

Ben Curran - Curator

Ben has worked in learning disabilities, mental health and substance use services since graduating in Psychology in 1995. More recently he has worked for the third sector within assertive outreach, operational management and business development. His experience of delivering training on substance use policy and as a guest lecturer at university led to the creation of the Museum of Drugs, the primary purpose being to bring the historical context of drug legislation to a wider audience. 'Understanding the present is about understanding our past. Without this ability we are incapable of building a better future'.


Dan Mobbs - Trustee

Dan has spent twenty years working in substance misuse and mental health as a practitioner and senior manager.  He is currently the chief executive of a youth charity.  He is also an occasional university lecturer and trainer.  Dan's role at the Museum of Drugs is advisory and strategic.  He is keen to see the museum attract a range of visitors including policy makers and academics.  Dan notes 'The museum is an opportunity to understand the history and context of drug use and how moral panics, fear and ignorance has influenced social policy and legislation'.

Emmeline Gabrielle Von Ratzer MBE - Trustee

Emmeline has extensive experience working in the public and third sector. She has provided consultancy in management and leadership to a variety of organisations, and is currently the chief executive of a charity supporting socially marginalised groups.


The Museum of Drugs is wholly reliant on grants and donations. All of the funding that we receive is used to further develop the collection and resources of the Museum and therefore we are extremely grateful to those people and organisations that have contributed to our important work. If you would like to make a donation to the Museum of Drugs, you can do so in a variety of ways.

We accept donations of historical artefacts alongside more recent items of interest. If you would like to donate items or collections to the Museum, we would love to here from you.

We also accept financial donations and grants.

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© The Museum of Drugs 2008 Registered Charity 1181946