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The AIHW is one of Australia's premier sources of statistics and related information on drug and alcohol use, and on alcohol and drug treatment services. The Australian Government Department of Health funds much of our work in these areas as part of Australia's National Drug Strategy.

Note: The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016 key findings report (1 June 2017) may show preliminary figures different to those used on pages in this topic.

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Almost 1 in 5 people aged 14 or older consumed more than 2 standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines.

1 in 4 (26%) had, on at least 1 occasion per month, consumed alcohol at a level placing them at risk of injury.

Tobacco smoking

13% of Australians smoked daily in 2013, the lowest rate ever reported.

Fewer children are being exposed to tobacco smoke inside their home, with adults smoking inside less than 4% homes with dependent children.

In 2013, 1 in 5 smokers successfully gave up for at least a month.

Illicit use of drugs

In 2013, 15% of Australians had used an illicit drug in the previous 12 months and 42% had used an illicit drug in their life time.

Cannabis, ecstasy, meth/amphetamine and cocaine were the most commonly used illicit drugs.

Misuse of pharmaceuticals

In 2013, almost 5% of Australians had used a pharmaceutical drug for non-medical purposes in the previous 12 months.

Pain killers and analgesics were the most common type of pharmaceutical to be misused.

Drug treatment services

An estimated 133,895 people received treatment from specialist alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in 2015–16.

Alcohol was the most common drug leading people to seek treatment, accounting for 32% of treatment episodes.

Counselling was the most common treatment type (36%).

Drug use and population groups

Over 1 in 2 pregnant women consumed alcohol before they knew they were pregnant and 1 in 4 continued to drink once they knew they were pregnant in 2013.

Indigenous Australians were 2.5 times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to smoke tobacco daily.

Almost twice as many recent illicit drug users as non-users have been diagnosed with, or treated for, a mental illness.

About the data collections

National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS)

Conducted every three years, yields detailed information on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use within Australia, as well as community attitudes to drug use. Both legal and illegal drugs are covered.

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services (AODTS)

Provides information on the services provided by alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in Australia. Information on submission of AODTS data to the AIHW can be found in the Guidelines for AODTS data submitters.

National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data (NOPSAD) collection

Contains information on treatment services provided to people dependent on opioid drugs such as heroin.

AIHW custom data request service

The AIHW offers a custom data request service for access to statistics that are not available in published reports and tables.

Request a customised analysis

If you require more information or assistance with the process, please contact the unit directly at .

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