Overview

Illicit use of drugs causes death and disability and is a risk factor for many diseases. It is also associated with risks to users' family and friends and to the community. Illicit use of drugs includes use of illegal drugs, misuse or non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs, or inappropriate use of other substances (such as inhalants).

Latest findings

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

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