In 2019, Dr. Kyle Mulrooney and Dr. Katinka van de Ven received network funding from HASSE to continuing growing the Human Enhancement Drugs Network. The funding was used to organise a symposium on Human Enhancement Drugs held at the UNE Campus in Paramatta. The event was a resounding success with 30 academics, practitioners and industry leaders coming together to advance knowledge and practice in the area of human enhancement drugs.

One of the outcomes of this symposium is a special issue in the International Journal of Drug Policy (Q1), which you can find here. UNE academic staff, Kyle Mulrooney, Katinka van de Ven and Adrian Walsh contributed research to this special issue. 

“Human enhancement drugs: emerging issues and responses themed collection in the International Journal of Drug Policy explores the role that the unregulated use of drugs is increasingly playing in enhancing the human experience,” said Dr Mulrooney while discussing the special issue and its context. “The use of drugs for human enhancement is a long-standing phenomenon, although one that has most commonly been described among the those who engage in sporting activities, in particular bodybuilding, and in sexual contexts. Drugs can be used with the aim of enhancing many aspects of human appearance, performance and functioning – e.g. building muscle, stimulating creativity, improving cognition and functioning.”

“In recent years there has been increasing concern about the use of the substance’s for aesthetic enhancement and to improve educational performance, as well as about emerging patterns of use, such as micro-dosing with psychedelics. There is also growing awareness about the harms that may arise from the use of these drugs. The focus of this themed collection is on exploring emerging issues, how to respond to the use of drugs to enhance the human experience and the challenges of responding to the use of drugs for human enhancement.”

The articles in this special issue which include UNE staff are listed below.

Vivian D. Hope, Mair Underwood, Kyle J.D. Mulrooney, Jason Mazanov, Katinka van de Ven, Jim McVeigh, Human enhancement drugs: Emerging issues and responses, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 95, 2021, 103459, ISSN 0955-3959, 

Adrian Walsh, Distributive justice, equality and the enhancement of human cognition: A commentary on fairness and ‘cognitive doping’, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 95, 2021, 102874, ISSN 0955-3959,

Matthew Dunn, Kyle J.D. Mulrooney, Cynthia Forlini, Katinka van de Ven, Mair Underwood, The pharmaceuticalisation of ‘healthy’ ageing: Testosterone enhancement for longevity, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 95, 2021, 103159, ISSN 0955-3959,

Kyle J.D. Mulrooney, Rick Collins, Jack Darkes, Testosterone, identity and the body: Exploring cultural definitions of disorder, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 95, 2021, 103366, ISSN 0955-3959,

Mair Underwood, Katinka van de Ven, Matthew Dunn, Testing the boundaries: Self-medicated testosterone replacement and why it is practised, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 95, 2021, 103087, ISSN 0955-3959,