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Latest National drug strategy household survey released

Date posted: 29 September 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) have released the National drug household survey: detailed findings 2016 report. The report aims to provide insight into Australians' use of, and attitudes to, drugs and alcohol in 2016.

A key finding of the report is around mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. Among people who had recently (in the last 12 months) used an illicit drug, about 27% had been diagnosed or treated for a mental illness - an increase from 21% in 2013. Rates of mental illness were particularly high, and saw the most significant increases, for meth/amphetamine and ecstasy users.

'In 2016, 42% of meth/amphetamine users had a mental illness, up from 29% in 2013, while the rate of mental illness among ecstasy users also rose from 18% to 27%,' said AIHW spokesperson, Matthew James. 'Drug use is a complex issue, and it's difficult to determine to what degree drug use causes mental health problems, and to what degree mental health problems give rise to drug use.'

About 1 in 20 Australians reported misusing pharmaceuticals, with 75% of recent painkiller users reporting misusing an ‘over the counter’ codeine product in the past 12 months. The AIHW will be publishing more detailed data on pharmaceutical misuse later in 2017.

In addition to illicit drugs, the report also provides insights into Australians' use of alcohol and tobacco, and notes some improvements in risky behaviour (such as driving while under the influence of alcohol), as well as improved smoking rates among people living in lower socioeconomic areas.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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Last updated: 29 September 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute