The consumption of alcohol is widespread within Australia and entwined with many social and cultural activities. However, harmful levels of consumption are a major health issue, associated with increased risk of chronic disease, injury and premature death.

More reports and statistics on alcohol can be found under Alcohol & other drug treatment services, Illicit use of drugs and Smoking.

Latest findings

In 2016, about 1 in 8 Australians smoked daily while 6 in 10 had never smoked People who inject drugs experience considerably poorer health outcomes than other drug users Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Australia 10% of drinkers drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in 2016 but this declined from 12% in 2013 Homosexual/bisexual people were 5.8 times as likely as heterosexual people to use ecstasy and meth/amphetamines Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoking has declined significantly In 2016, recent use of cannabis was highest in NT, meth/amphetamine use was highest in WA, cocaine was highest in NSW Over the past 50 years, levels of apparent consumption of different alcoholic beverages changed substantially 1 in 5 meth/amphetamine users used the drug weekly or more often in 2016 Self-reported levels of psychological distress are increasing among recent users of tobacco and illicit drugs 4 in 10 people either smoked daily, drank alcohol in risky quantities or used an illicit drug in the past 12 months Support for legalisation of cannabis and use of it in clinical trials to treat medical conditions increased in 2016 There is a strong link between problematic alcohol or other drug use and experiences of homelessness Among current smokers, 3 in 10 tried to quit but did not succeed and about 1 in 3 do not intend to quit The non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is an increasing public health problem in Australia

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