John-Peter Kools

Senior Drug Policy Advisor
Drug Monitoring & Policy
+31 (0)30 - 2959(344)
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John-Peter  Kools


John-Peter Kools is an international expert on substance use, drug policy and harm reduction.

After his studies in political science, he has been involved in the drug field for 3 decades. In the middle of the heroin epidemic in the 1980s, he helped develop the first HIV prevention and health programs for people who use drugs in his hometown of Amsterdam. In 1990 he co-founded the harm reduction & human rights organization Mainline, where he developed and implemented numerous health projects for people who use drugs (educational materials, campaigns).

Since 1995, Kools has applied this knowledge and expertise internationally, through research, capacity building and advocacy of harm reduction and health programs for drug users. His expertise also covers the field of criminal justice, law enforcement and the penal system. A significant part of his work is focused on transitional regions like Eastern Europe, (Central) Asia and southern Africa. Kools is a prominent speaker, chairman and expert in the field of international drug policy.

He was chairman of Harm Reduction International (HRI) between 2010-2016.

Inspiration and mission

With the credo 'Good policy is people's work' Kools focus is on creating involvement and ownership from all actors: from health professionals and police officers to policy staff and scientists. Good drugs policy is based on science and international best practices. It also centers around public health and human rights. This serves drug users and their immediate environment, as well as society as a whole, experience has shown.

In the international drugs debate, Kools is therefore a recognized advocate of inclusive effective and humane drugs policies and services.

Currently working on: 

Kools has been involved in the following projects:

  • Coordination of drug policy activities in EU program to support and strengthen national drug policy in Central Asia (
  • Evaluation of HIV programming in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Policy evaluation in Croatia (National Drug Strategy, drug treatment and opiate substitution treatment)
  • Facilitate advisory and study visits from various international delegations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Central Asian region)

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