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

Around 1 in 7 clients (14%) were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people An estimated 133,895 clients received just over 206,000 treatment episodes from alcohol & other drug treatment agencies Support for legalisation of cannabis and use of it in clinical trials to treat medical conditions increased in 2016 The AOD client group is an ageing cohort, with a median age of 33 years in 2015–16, up from 31 years in 2006–07 In 2016, recent use of cannabis was highest in NT, meth/amphetamine use was highest in WA, cocaine was highest in NSW Counselling & assessment, support & case management, & withdrawal management remain the most common types of treatment 4 in 10 people either smoked daily, drank alcohol in risky quantities or used an illicit drug in the past 12 months Among current smokers, 3 in 10 tried to quit but did not succeed and about 1 in 3 do not intend to quit Alcohol was the top principal drug of concern that led clients to seek treatment across most states, except for SA & WA In 2016, about 1 in 8 Australians smoked daily while 6 in 10 had never smoked Homosexual/bisexual people were 5.8 times as likely as heterosexual people to use ecstasy and meth/amphetamines 1 in 5 meth/amphetamine users used the drug weekly or more often in 2016 The principal drugs that led clients to seek treatment were amphetamines, cannabis and heroin A total of 796 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided services to clients 10% of drinkers drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in 2016 but this declined from 12% in 2013

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