In 2015, 2.7% of the disease burden in Australia was due to illicit drug use. Illicit drug use includes burden from opioids, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis and other illicit drug use, as well as unsafe injecting practices.
These estimates reflect the amount of disease burden that could have been avoided if all people in Australia had not used illicit drugs.
Illicit drug use contributed to burden for 13 diseases and injuries; 4 types of injuries, 3 infections, liver cancer, chronic liver disease and 4 types of mental and substance use disorders (see Supplementary tables). The linked diseases differed by type of illicit drug.
Individual drug use types
Of the individual drug use types, opioid use was the leading illicit drug use risk, contributing to 1% of the total burden in Australia in 2015. This was followed by amphetamine use (0.6% of total burden in 2015) and unsafe injecting practices (0.5%).