Introduction

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. There are a wide range of data sources available that contribute to our understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. This web report is intended to be a general reference for contemporary data on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, meth/amphetamines and other stimulants, the non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs, illicit opioids (including heroin) and new (and emerging) psychoactive substances (NPS).

Key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment are identified and detailed data are presented for vulnerable populations. These population groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people experiencing homelessness, older people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ), people in contact with the criminal justice system, people with mental health conditions, younger people and people who inject drugs.

This report is accompanied by online supplementary data tables and a series of fact sheets for each drug type and population group. The report is regularly updated; please refer to the notes page for information on which pages have been updated.

The data presented in this report are from a range of different data sources and reflect the latest information available. As such, there are differences in the source year and frequency of publication—please refer to the Summary of main data sources used in this report for more information.

Content is correct as at 8 September 2020. Reports released after this date will be updated in the next scheduled release.

Tobacco

Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer in Australia (contributing 22%25 of cancer burden)

> more Tobacco data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Daily smoking: 14+ daily tobacco smoking has declined since 1991
Click to explore data - tobacco interactive dashboard Alcohol interactive dashboard

Alcohol

Overall consumption of alcohol (litres per capita) has remained stable; the consumption of beer has decreased and wine has increased.

> more Alcohol data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Risky drinking: 14+ lifetime risky drinking has declined an single occasion (monthly) risky drinking remained unchanged.
Alcohol treatment: alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern for which clients sought treatment for in 2018-19.

Selected drugs

Cannabis was the most commonly used illicit drug in 2019.

> more Cannabis data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Methamphetamine: Deaths involving methampetamine were 4 times higher in 2018 than 1999.

> more Methamphetamine data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Psychoactive substances: Less than 1%25 of the general population in 2016 reported the recent use of synthetic cannabinoids.

> more Psychoactive substance data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Heroin: Closed treatment episodes where heroin was the principal drug of concern has declined over the past 10 years.
> more Heroin data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Click to explore data - Illicit drugs interactive dashboard Treatment interactive dashboards

Populations

Indigenous tobacco use and lifetime risky alcohol use has declined.

> more Indigenous data
(updated 11 September 2020)

People experiencing homelessness: 1 in 10 clients presenting to specialist homelessness services reported problematice AOD use in 2018-19.

> more Homelessness data
(updated 19 December 2019)

Older people: Recent use of any illicit drug has increased among people aged 50-59 and 60+.

> more Older people data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Younger people: An increasing proportion of people aged 14-17 and 18-24 are reporting alcohol abstinence.

> more Younger people data
(updated 11 September 2020)

CALD backgrounds: In 2019, people from CALD backgrounds were less likely than English speakers to drink at risky levels or use drugs.

> more CALD background data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Criminal justice: Almost one third of police detainees reported illicit drug use contributed to their offending.

> more Criminal justice data
(updated 11 September 2020)

LGBTIQ: In 2019, people identifying as homosexual or bisexual were more likely than heterosexual people to use illicit drugs.

> more LGBTIQ data
(updated 11 September 2020)

People who inject drugs: Almost half of IDRS respondents experienced an injection-related health problem in the last month.

> more PWID data
(updated 11 September 2020)

Mental health: People with mental health conditions were more likely to report daily smoking or recent drug use than people without mental health conditions in 2019.

> more Mental health data
(updated 11 September 2020)