AIHW news

Explore how attitudes and perceptions towards drugs vary across Australia

The article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Louise Tierney, Head of the Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs Unit

I’m very pleased and excited to see the AIHW’s latest report and accompanying data visualisation released today, on how attitudes and perceptions towards drugs vary across Australia. This novel piece of work is based on new analysis of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2019 results.

The analysis is timely as the 2022 NDSHS fieldwork will commence in late July. For those asked to participate in this year’s survey, your survey results are important for helping policymakers to understand peoples’ experiences and attitudes towards drugs.

Held every 3 years since 1985, the NDSHS is a national survey that collects information from over 21,000 Australians aged 14 and over on their thoughts about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and their use of these drugs.

It also asks people about the measures that Australia takes to reduce drug use and drug-related harm. These include government laws for the sale and advertising of tobacco and alcohol, taxes on tobacco products, and government funding of drug withdrawal and treatment programs. The survey also captures important data on emerging issues such as support for pill testing/drug checking services, and emerging policy issues including vaping and medicinal use of cannabis.

I’m especially proud of my team for producing the accompanying interactive data visualisation product which displays the attitudes and perceptions towards drugs data at small, more localised geographical areas (Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) area)Users can select their postcode, then select from one of four drug categories (tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, and other illicit drugs) and the data will be presented in Q&A format using infographics or graphs.

Explore the attitudes and perceptions towards drugs in your region here.

If you have been randomly selected to participate in this year’s survey, your opinions matter. The survey is important as it forms part of the Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy, which aims to improve Australians’ health and wellbeing. Researchers and policymakers use the results of the NDSHS to better understand the issues surrounding tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

For more information on the NDSHS, see:

To access free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs, phone the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

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