Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 01 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia
Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 14 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2023 Feb. 1]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia, viewed 1 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia
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Demand reduction involves ‘preventing the uptake and delaying the onset of use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; reducing the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in the community; and supporting people to recover from dependence through evidence-informed treatment’ (DoH 2017).
Examples of demand reduction initiatives include:
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) provides national estimates of the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs among the Australian general population. The 2019 NDSHS shows that tobacco and alcohol are the substances most commonly consumed by the Australian population (AIHW 2020).
While there has been a long-term downward trend in tobacco smoking in Australia and many drinkers consume alcohol responsibly, a substantial proportion of drinkers consume alcohol at a level that increases their risk of alcohol-related harm (Figure HARM2).
This figure shows that the proportion of Australians aged 14 and over who smoke daily declined from 2016 (12.2%) to 2019 (11.0%). The proportion of people who never smoked, were ex-smokers, or smoked occasionally remained stable from 2016 to 2019.
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An illicit drug is defined as any drug which is illegal to possess or use or any legal drug used in an illegal manner (AIHW 2020). The proportion of people who had used an illicit drug in their lifetime has been gradually increasing in Australia since 2001 (Figure HARM2). In 2019, 43% of people aged 14 and over in Australia had illicitly used a drug at some point in their lifetime and 16.4% had done so in the last 12 months (AIHW 2020, tables 4.2 and 4.6).
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia (AIHW 2020, Table 4.2), which is consistent with international data. The latest World Drug Report indicates that in 2020:
For detailed information on the harms, availability and consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in Australia, please see the separate section for each of the Drug types.
Alcohol and other drug treatment services assist people to address their substance use through a range of treatments. Treatment objectives can include reduction, stabilisation or cessation of substance use, as well as improving health and social wellbeing. Treatment services can include:
The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS NMDS) provides information on treatment provided to clients by publicly funded AOD treatment services, including government and non-government organisations. In 2020–21, AOD treatment services provided 243,000 treatment episodes, a 2.3% increase from 2019–20 (AIHW 2022).
Client engagement with a treatment service is limited by the accessibility of the service. The location of a service is a factor which impacts accessibility, particularly for clients who live in Remote and Very remote areas. In 2016–17, just under two-thirds (61%) of closed treatment episodes were provided to clients whose last known place of residence was outside the geographical area in which the treatment agency was located (AIHW 2019).
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2019. Alcohol and other drug use in regional and remote Australia: consumption, harms and access to treatment 2016–17. Cat. no. HSE 212. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW (2020) National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019. Drug statistics series no. 32. Cat. no. PHE 270. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 16 July 2020.
AIHW (2022) Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report. Cat. no. HSE 250. AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 27 July 2022.
DoH (Department of Health) 2017. National Drug Strategy 2017–2026. Canberra: Australian Government. Viewed 12 January 2018.
UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) 2022. World Drug Report 2021. Vienna: UNODC, accessed 6 July 2022.
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