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A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW) shows that tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use all fell
between 2004 and 2007, but some results are still concerning,
especially for teenagers and young people.
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: first
results report shows that the proportion of the population
aged 14 years or older who smoked daily declined from 17.4% to
16.6% between 2004 and 2007.
'This is one of the lowest daily smoking rates in the world,'
said AIHW spokesperson Mark Cooper-Stanbury.
Recent cannabis use dropped significantly from 11.3% to 9.1%,
and a decline in methamphetamine use, from 3.2% to 2.3%, was also
The survey findings suggest that there has been no increase in
the use of crystal methamphetamine-or 'ice'-in contrast to the
'However, since the last survey, the proportion of both men and
women reporting recent cocaine use has increased, but more so for
men-from 1.3% to 2.2%,' he said.
The report also raises concerns regarding Australia's youth.
Around one-quarter of teenagers put themselves at risk of
short-term alcohol-related harm at least once a month.
'The proportion was higher among females (28.3%) than males
(24.5%),' said Mr Cooper-Stanbury.
'The report also showed 16-17-year-old females were almost twice
as likely to be daily smokers (7.4%) as their male counterparts
(4.1%), although both of these figures dropped by about half from
the previous survey,' he said.
As with past surveys, this report shows the most
commonly-reported illicit drugs used in the previous 12 months were
cannabis, ecstasy, pain killers used for non-medical purposes, and
The general decreases between 2004 and 2007 in illicit drug use
over the past 12 months were even more marked for
Decreases for teenagers in the use of any illicit drug were from
20.9% to 15.6% for males, and 21.8% to 17.7% for females.
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was conducted
between July and November 2007, and included over 23,000
Australians aged 12 years or older. Most of the analysis in the
report is based on the population aged 14 years or older.
Sunday 27 April 2008
Further information: Mark Cooper-Stanbury,
AIHW, mob. 0408 417 340.
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications
Catalogue for the availability of The 2007 National Drug
Strategy Household Survey: first results report.