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You are here:
The majority of Australians support policies aimed at reducing
alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use, and are also making efforts
to kick their own drug habits, according to a report released today
by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: detailed
findings report shows that most Australians support reduction
policies for alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, and that there is
very little support for the legalisation of illicit drugs such as
marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy.
Alcohol was the drug considered to be of most serious concern to
the community, while heroin remained the drug most associated with
a 'drug problem' in Australia.
'There is evidence that Australians are modifying their
behaviours in line with their attitudes, said Dr Paul Meyer from
the AIHW's Drug Surveys and Services Unit.'
'While 1 in 5 people consumed alcohol once a month or more at
levels that put them at risk of harm in the short term, half of all
recent drinkers had undertaken at least some alcohol moderation
behaviour, mostly for health reasons.'
'And while daily smoking rates fell from 1 in 4 people in 1993
to 1 in 6 in 2007, our new report shows that even among those still
smoking in 2007, nearly one-third had reduced their
'Reductions are also the name of the game when it comes to
recent use of marijuana - down to 9.1% from around 13% in most
previous surveys. And meth/amphetamine use, including 'ice', has
also come down - to 2.3% in 2007 from 3.2% in 2004', Dr Meyer
Cocaine and non-medical uses of tranquillisers and sleeping
pills were the only two drugs for which statistically significant
increases in use were recorded since the previous survey.
The AIHW report shows an association between higher rates of
drug use and self-reported poor health.
It also shows that recent drinkers or illicit drug users are
more likely than non-users or non-drinkers to be the victims of
drug-related incidents, even though most victims had not been
drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs when the incident
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. The Detailed findings report
follows the First results report and State and Territory
comparisons tables released earlier this year.
Thursday 18 December 2008
Further information: Dr Paul Meyer, AIHW, 02
6244 1186; mob. 0400 344 572.
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications area
for the availability of the 2007 National Drug
Strategy Household Survey: detailed findings report.