National Drugs Strategy Household Survey – 2013 first stats

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has begun releasing results from the 2013 National Drugs Strategy Household Survey.  The NDSHS looks at the prevalence of current use and lifetime use of drugs and alcohol, by examining a cross section of the Australian population. 

Today’s media release touches on some of the trends that have been identified in the data.  The full report is due for release at the end of the year.

Some of the information, so far…



18-24 y/o who had never smoked had significantly increased from 2010 (from 72% to 77%)

Daily smoking has declined from 15.1% (2010) to 12.8%
Younger smokers have delayed smoking up-take from 14.2y/o (1995) to 15.9y/o

Daily drinking has declined significantly from 7.2% (2010) to 6.5% (2013)
The proportion of 12-17y/o abstaining from alcohol from 64% (2010) to 72% (2013)
There have been significant decreases in people over 14 y/o exceeding lifetime risk guidelines, 20% (2010) to 18.2% (2013)
In 2013, more people thought that alcohol caused the most drug-related deaths and this was the most commonly mentioned drug (34%), increasing from 30% in 2010, and for the first time was higher than tobacco.
Illicit Substances
In 2013, 42% of Australians reported that they had used substances illicitly
The number of people participating in illicit drug use is increasing
There have been significant decreases in the use of ecstasy (from 3.0% to 2.5%), heroin (from 0.2% to 0.1%) and GHB (from 0.1% to less than 0.1%)
Misuse of pharmaceuticals has significantly increased from 4.2% to 4.7%
2013 was the first year the survey collected data on synthetic substances, it was found that 1.2% of the population (about 230,000 people) had used synthetic cannabinoids in the last 12 months, and 0.4% (about 80,000 people) had used another psychoactive substance such as mephedrone.

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