Our Mission

The core idea behind the Drug Use & Behavior (DUB) lab is that drug use is – and has been for millennia – part of normal human behavior. Counter to the largely negative depictions of drugs, drug use, and drug users found in the media, politics, and law enforcement, our work seeks to investigate both the positive and negative ways that drugs actually work in individuals and society.

DUB lab uses behavioral pharmacology, Ecological Momentary Assessment, and survey methods to focus on how drugs – including stimulants, cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco – function in social contexts, with an emphasis on how your friends and family influence which drugs you use, how much you use, whether or not you develop problematic use, and—if you do—whether or not you’ll be successful at quitting.

Our mission is to contribute to a scientifically grounded understanding of non-problematic drug use in order to inform more rational and just drug policies, reduce harm, and develop effective treatments for the minority of users who develop drug-related problems.


Matthew Kirkpatrick, PhD

Associate Professor of Research Population and Public Health Sciences
Principal Investigator, USC Drug Use & Behavior Laboratory
Keck School of Medicine


University of Southern California
Phone: 323-442-8221
Fax: 323-442-2359