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Illicit drug use is associated with many risks of harm to the user and to their family and friends. It has both short-term and long-term health effects, which can be severe, including poisoning, heart damage, mental illness, self-harm, suicide and death . Illicit drug use also contributes to social and family disruptions, violence, and crime and community safety issues .
'Illicit use of a drug' or 'illicit drug use' (used interchangeably) can include:
Illicit drug use was responsible for 1.8% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia in 2011 (including the impact of injecting drug use, and cocaine, opioid, amphetamine and cannabis dependence). The burden attributable to drug use has increased—it moved from being the 10th top ranking risk factor for disease and injury in Australia in 2003 to the 9th in 2011.
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