Abstainer (alcohol): a person who has not consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months.

Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST): The ASSIST was developed to identify people whose substance use may be causing them harm. ASSIST-Lite scores are categorised as ‘low risk’, ‘moderate risk’ or ‘high risk’. High risk scores are likely to indicate a substance dependence issue, while moderate risk scores indicate substance use that may be hazardous or harmful to the person’s health.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area: The Australian Bureau of Statistics ASGS Remoteness Area classification allocates 1 of 5 remoteness categories to areas, depending on their distance from 5 types of population centre. These classifications reflect the level of remoteness at the time of the 2021 Census. Areas are classified as Major cities, Inner regional areas, Outer regional areas, Remote areas, and Very remote areas. For the NDSHS analysis, Remote and Very remote areas were grouped together.

Alcohol-induced deaths: Deaths that can be directly attributable to alcohol use, as determined by toxicology and pathology reports.

Branded illicit tobacco: Tobacco products that are brought into Australia without payment of the applicable customs duty.

Burden of disease and injury: A term referring to the quantified impact of a disease or injury on an individual or population, using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) measure.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background: From the Australian Bureau of Statistics Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, includes discussion of people born in countries other than Australia, who speak a main language other than English at home, or who first spoke a language other than English. CALD groupings are broad and experiences likely to vary widely among people with different cultural and language backgrounds. While First Nations people are diverse in language and culture, their experiences are unique and are considered distinct from the experiences of CALD populations in Australia.

Currently smoke: Reported smoking tobacco daily, weekly or less than weekly at the time of the survey.

Current use of e‑cigarettes: Reported using electronic cigarettes and vapes daily, weekly, monthly or less than monthly.

Daily smoking: Reported smoking tobacco at least once a day (includes manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars or pipes). Excludes chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes (and similar) and smoking of non‑tobacco products.

Do not smoke: Never smoked tobacco, or smoked tobacco previously but not currently (ex-smoking).

Drug-induced deaths: Drug-induced deaths are defined as those that can be directly attributable to drug use, as determined by toxicology and pathology reports. They are classified due to their intent—accidental, intentional (including assault and suicide), undetermined intent or other. Further, they include deaths from illicit drugs (for example, heroin, amphetamines, and cocaine) and licit drugs (for example, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants). Deaths solely attributable to alcohol and tobacco are excluded.

Electronic cigarettes and vapes (e‑cigarettes): Devices where users inhale vapour rather than smoke. The inhaled vapour usually contains flavourings and may contain nicotine as well.

Emerging psychoactive substances: Drugs that often mimic the effects of more established illegal drugs. These are sometimes referred to as research chemicals, analogues, or bath salts. Some of the more well-known substances include Mephedrone, NBOMe, Methylone, Flakka, MDPV, 2C-I, BZP, Carfentanyl and Krokodil.

Ever use: Used at least once in lifetime.

Ex-drinker: A person who has consumed a full serve of alcohol in his or her lifetime, but not in the previous 12 months.

Ex-smoking: Has smoked at least 100 cigarettes or equivalent tobacco in their lifetime but does not smoke at all now.

Ex-user: A person who has used a substance in his or her lifetime, but not in the previous 12 months.

First Nations person: A person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Illicit drugs: Illegal drugs, drugs and volatile substances used illicitly, and pharmaceuticals used for non‑medical purposes. The survey included questions on the following illicit drugs:

  • pain-killers/pain-relievers and opioids^
  • tranquillisers/sleeping pills^
  • steroids^
  • pharmaceutical stimulants^
  • methadone or buprenorphine^
  • marijuana/cannabis (excludes the use of cannabis for medical purposes that was prescribed by a doctor only)
  • heroin
  • cocaine
  • hallucinogens
  • ecstasy
  • methamphetamine and amphetamine
  • ketamine
  • GHB, GBL and 1,4-BD
  • synthetic cannabinoids
  • emerging psychoactive substances
  • inhalants
  • (any) injected drug.

^ Used for non‑medical purposes. Non‑medical use is noted in the report.

Injected drugs: The injection of drugs that were not medically prescribed to inject.

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10): A survey device that is used for screening populations on psychological distress. The scale consists of 10 questions on non‑specific psychological distress and relates to the level of anxiety and depressive symptoms a person may have felt in the preceding 4-week period. It is used only for people aged 18 and over.

Risky consumption (alcohol): Consumption of more than 10 standard drinks per week or who drank more than 4 standard drinks on a single day at least once a month. Drinking less than this amount of alcohol keeps the lifetime risk of dying from an alcohol-related disease or injury to below 1 in 100 for healthy men and women.

Medicinal cannabis: Cannabis that has been prescribed for use by a doctor.

Never drinker: A person who has never consumed a full serve of alcohol in their lifetime.

Never smoked: Smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes or the equivalent tobacco in their lifetime.

Non‑medical use: Use of drugs either alone or with other drugs to induce or enhance a drug experience, for performance enhancement or for cosmetic purposes. In this report, this includes pain-killers/pain-relievers and opioids, tranquilisers/sleeping pills, pharmaceutical stimulants, steroids, and methadone or buprenorphine.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs: Medicine that you can buy without a prescription from a pharmacy or retail outlet.

Recent: In the previous 12 months.

Roll-your-own tobacco/cigarettes: Cigarettes made from loose tobacco and rolling paper.

Socioeconomic status and the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage: The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) is 1 of 4 Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) compiled by the ABS after each Census of Population and Housing. The IRSAD compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics was used to derive quintiles. In this report, the 20% of areas with the greatest overall level of disadvantage is described as the ‘lowest socioeconomic area’. The 20% of areas with the greatest overall level of advantage—the top fifth—is described as the ‘highest socioeconomic area’.

Standard drink: Containing 10 grams of alcohol (equivalent to 12.5 millilitres of alcohol); also referred to as a full serve of alcohol.

Unbranded tobacco: Finely cut, unprocessed loose tobacco that has been grown, distributed and sold without government intervention or taxation.