Australia

Subsections:

Page last updated June 9, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.

1. Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use in Australia

"There was no change in recent use of most illicit drugs in 2013, and use of any illicit drug remained stable between 2010 and 2013. However, there was a significant change for a few specific drugs. The proportion of people who had misused a pharmaceutical rose from 4.2% in 2010 to 4.7% in 2013, whereas there were falls in the use of ecstasy (from 3.0% to 2.5%), heroin (from 0.2% to 0.1%) and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).
"While there was no significant rise in meth/amphetamine use in 2013 (stable at around 2.1%), there was a change in the main form of the drug used. Among meth/amphetamine users, use of powder fell, from 51% to 29%, while the use of ice (or crystal methamphetamine) more than doubled, from 22% in 2010 to 50% in 2013.
"Questions on the use of synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances were included in the NDSHS for the first time in 2013 and results showed that 1.2% of the population (or about 230,000 people) had used synthetic cannabinoids in the last 12 months, and 0.4% (or about 80,000 people) had used another psychoactive substance such as mephedrone. While people in their 20s are normally the most likely to use illicit drugs, it was young people aged 14–19 who were slightly more likely to use synthetic cannabinoids (2.7% compared with 2.5%).
"In 2013, 8.3% of the population had been a victim of an illicit drug-related incident. While this was similar to the 8.5% in 2010, the proportion experiencing physical abuse by someone under the influence of illicit drugs rose from 2.2% in 2010 to 3.1% in 2013. Verbal abuse remained the most frequently reported incident overall.
"Community tolerance has increased for cannabis use, with higher proportions of people supporting legalisation and a lower proportion supporting penalties for sale and supply. People in Australia now consider meth/amphetamines to be more of a concern to the general community than any other illicit drug and the proportion who nominated it as a drug problem or as a drug that caused the most deaths also increased in 2013."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 7.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

2. Prevalence of Illegal Pharmaceutical Use in Australia

"• In 2013, 4.7% of Australians aged 14 or older had misused a pharmaceutical in the previous 12 months, which was a significant rise from 4.2% in 2010. This increase was only significant for males (from 4.1% in 2010 to 5.1% in 2013 and from 4.2% to 4.4% for females).
"• The rise in pharmaceutical misuse was mainly due to an increase in males in their 30s (4.5% in 2010 to 6.9% in 2013) and females in their 40s (3.1% in 2010 to 4.5% in 2013) misusing these drugs.
"• People aged 20–29 (5.8%) and 30–39 (5.3%) were most likely to have misused pharmaceuticals in the previous 12 months.
"• Pain-killers/analgesics (3.3%) were the most commonly misused pharmaceutical drug type and over–the-counter pain-killers (78%) were more commonly misused than prescription pain-killers (51%).
"• The proportion of people who had ever misused a pharmaceutical drug rose to 11.4% in 2013, up from 7.4% in 2010, the first increase in lifetime use since 2001."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013, p. 70. Drug statistics series no. 28. Cat. no. PHE 183. Canberra: AIHW.
http://www.aihw.gov.au/alcohol...
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publica...

3. Estimated Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use Among Youth in Australia

"Analgesics: Analgesics were the most commonly used substance (licit or illicit) with 95% of students aged 12 to 17 years having used an analgesic at some time in their lives. Females were more likely than males to use analgesics in all recency periods with for example 48% of females using analgesics in the week prior to the survey compared to 34% of males. The main reason for analgesic use was to help ease the pain associated with a headache/migraine (52%). For the majority of students (90%) parents were the main source of analgesics.
"The proportion of students using analgesics in 2014 in their lifetime was lower than the proportion found in 2011, but not 2008. There was no change in the proportion using these substances in the month and week before the survey between 2008 and 2014 or between 2011 and 2014.
"Tranquilisers: Of all students, 18% had used tranquilisers other than for medical reasons at some time in their lives. The proportion of students ever using tranquilisers increased with age. However, only three per cent of all students reported use in the past week. While the proportion of all students using tranquilisers in their lifetime had not changed between 2008 and 2014, the proportion reporting use in the past week in 2014 (3%) was significantly greater than in 2008 (2%) and 2011 (2%).
"Cannabis: Cannabis was the most commonly used illicit substance with 16% of students aged between 12 and 17 years ever using cannabis and seven per cent using it in the month before the survey. The proportion of students using cannabis increased with age. The most common method of using cannabis was smoking it as a bong with 62% of males and 54% of females who had used cannabis in the past year reporting this method of use. There were no significant differences in the proportion of students using cannabis in the past week, past month or lifetime between 2008 and 2014 or between 2011 and 2014.
"Inhalants: Use of inhalants was negatively associated with age, with lifetime use decreasing from 19% of 12-year-olds to 10% of 17-year-olds. Six per cent of all students had used inhalants in the month before the survey. Lifetime use of inhalants among younger and older students decreased between 2008 and 2014), but not between 2011 and 2014. While past month use decreased significant between 2008 and 2014 in the younger age group, this trend was not found in the older age group."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, pp. 3-4.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

4. Prevalence of Analgesic Use Among Young People in Australia

"The reported use of painkillers/analgesics such as ‘Disprin’, ‘Panadol’ or ‘Nurofen’ was extremely high among 12- to 17-year-old students. Among the entire sample, only five per cent of students had never used analgesics.
"Over two-thirds of all students had used these medications in the past month.
"The proportion of students using analgesics in the past week increased from 35% of 12-year-olds to 45% of 16-year-olds and 44% of 17-year-olds. The age increase was more evident for females than males.
"At all ages, females were significantly more likely than males to have used analgesics in their lifetime, in the past year, past month and the past week (p<0.01).
"Regularity of use: Of students who had used analgesics in the past year, 54% of females and 43% of males had used analgesics 10 or more times in the previous year. Sixteen per cent of males and 10% of females reported use of analgesics only once or twice in the past year.
"Of the male students who had used analgesics in the past week, 71% had used them only once or twice, while 20% had used them 3-5 times. Of the female students who had used analgesics in the past week, 68% had used them once or twice and 22% had used them 3-5 times."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, p. 75.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

5. Prevalence of Non-Medical Tranquilizer Use Among Young People in Australia

"Around 18% of all students reported use of tranquilisers other than for medical reasons at least once in their lifetime. The proportion of students ever using tranquilisers increased with age from 14% of 12-year-olds to 21% of 16-year-olds and 20% of 17-year-olds (p<0.01).
"Use in the past month was low across all ages with around five per cent of students reporting to have used tranquilisers in this time period.
"Around three per cent of 12- to 17-year-old students used tranquilisers other than for medical reasons in the week before the survey.
"There were few differences in male and female students’ use of tranquilisers. However, among 14-year-olds, lifetime use, use in the past 12 months and use in the past month was higher for female compared to male students (p<0.01). Among 15-year-olds significantly more females than males had used tranquilisers in their lifetime and in the past year (p<0.01).
"Regularity of use: Of the 12% of students who had used tranquilisers in the past year, around 49% of males and 47% of females had used them only once or twice, while 19% of males and 22% of females had used them 3-5 times."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, pp. 79-80.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

6. Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Young People in Australia

"Cannabis was the illicit substance most commonly used by secondary school students and prevalence was highest in the older age groups. Sixteen per cent of secondary students surveyed indicated they had used cannabis at some time in their lives with seven per cent using it in the past month and four per cent using it in the past week.
"In all recency periods the proportion of students using cannabis increased significantly with age (p<0.01).
"For all 12- to 17-year-olds, a greater proportion of males than females used cannabis in all recency periods (p<0.01). For 17-year-olds, males were more likely than females to use cannabis in their lifetime, in the past year, past month use and past week. For 16-year-olds, significantly more males than females reported lifetime use, past month use and past week use of cannabis. Among 15-year-olds, past-month and past week use was higher for males than females.
"Type of cannabis used, who it was used with and location of use: Students were asked to indicate whether they usually smoked cannabis as a joint, used it in a bong or ate it. Of the 14% of students who had used cannabis in the past year, the most common method for using cannabis was through a bong (62% of males and 54% of females). Joints were the next most usual method of using cannabis (38% of students who had used cannabis in the past year). The majority of students using cannabis in the past year generally used it with others (81% of males and 85% of females). The most common places for using cannabis were: at a friend’s home (40%), at a party (21%), at home (14%) and in a park (10%).
"Regularity of use: Of the 14% of students who reported using cannabis in the past year, 32% of males and 40% of females reported using cannabis only once or twice, while 39% of males and 26% of females had used it on 10 or more occasions."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, pp. 83-84.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

7. Prevalence of Tobacco Use Among Young People in Australia

"Involvement with smoking became more common as adolescents progress through secondary school.
"In 2014, 81% of all secondary students in Australia had no experience with smoking. While the proportion of students who had never smoked decreased with age, 61% of 17-year-olds had still never smoked.
"Around three per cent of all students had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, which peaked at eight per cent for 17-year-olds.
"The proportion of students smoking in the previous four weeks (past-month smokers) increased from one per cent of 12-year-olds to 17% of 17-year-olds.
"The proportion of students who were current smokers in 2014 increased from one per cent of 12-year-olds to 12% of 17-year-olds.
"Only around three per cent of all students had smoked on three or more of the past seven days (committed smokers), with this peaking at seven per cent of 17-year-olds.
"While in general the prevalence of smoking among male and female students was fairly similar, there were some differences with most of these found for the older students. For 16- and 17-year-olds, while more males than females had smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime (p<0.01), more females than males in these two ages had smoked in the past year (p<0.01). Smoking in the past seven days was more common for males than females aged 16 (p<0.01). Committed smoking was more common among males than females aged 16 and 17 years (p<0.01). Differences at the other ages were: 14-year-olds, more females than males smoked in the past month (p<0.01); 12-year-olds, more males than females smoked on three or more of the past seven days (p<0.01).
"Extrapolating the sample results to the Australian student population, it is estimated that just under 81,000 12- to 17-year-olds students in Australia had smoked at least one cigarette in the seven days preceding the survey (current smokers)."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, p. 29.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

8. Prevalence of Alcohol Use Among Young People in Australia

"Alcohol use becomes more common with increasing age with 76% of 17-year-olds having consumed alcohol in the year preceding the survey, compared to 19% of 12-year-olds.
"Only 32% of all students reported never consuming alcohol.
"Students who drank alcohol in the preceding week were classified as ‘current drinkers’. The proportion of current drinkers increased with age (p<0.01) and peaked among 17-year-olds at 35% for males and 37% for females.
"Sex differences in the prevalence of alcohol consumption in the past year were evident in the 12-, 13- and 15-year-olds. Among 15-year-olds, females were more likely than males to have consumed alcohol in the past year (p<0.01). Twelve and 13-year-old males were more likely than same aged females to have consumed alcohol in the past year (p<0.01).
"The percentage of all students who consumed five or more drinks on one occasion in the past week increased from two per cent of 14-year-olds to 17% of 17-year-olds. More males than females drank at risky levels at age 12, 15, 16 and 17 (p<0.01)."

White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, p. 55.
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au...

9. Prevalence of Cannabis Use in Australia

"In 2013, it was estimated that about 6.6 million (or 35%) people aged 14 or older had used cannabis in their lifetime and about 1.9 million (or 10.2%) had used cannabis in the previous 12 months (Online Table 5.4). Around 1 in 5 (21%) people aged 14 or older had been offered or had the opportunity to use cannabis in the previous 12 months (Online Table 5.12), and 1 in 10 (10.2%) reported that they did use cannabis in that time (Online Table 5.7). About 1 in 20 Australians (5.3%) had used in the month prior to the survey and 3.5% had used in the previous week. More specifically:
"• males were more likely to use cannabis at any frequency, than females (Online Table 5.5)
"• among people aged 14–24, the age at which they first tried cannabis increased from 16.2 to 16.7 between 2010 and 2013 (Online Table 5.10)
"• cannabis users were more likely to try cannabis in their teens and age of first use was younger compared to other illicit drugs (Online Table 5.10)
"• recent cannabis users (median age of 30 in 2013) were generally older than users of ecstasy (age 25), meth/amphetamines (age 28) and hallucinogens (age 24) (Online Table 5.16)
"• one-third (32%) of recent cannabis users used the drug as often as weekly (Online Table 5.11) and older people (50 or older) were more likely than younger people to use cannabis regularly, with at least 4 in 10 recent users in these age groups using it as often as once a week or more (Online Table 5.13)
"• one-fifth (19.8%) of recent cannabis users stated that all or most of their friends currently used cannabis, in contrast to only 0.8% of those who had never used the drug (Online Table 5.14)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 58.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

10. Use of Other Drugs with Cannabis

"In 2010, for people aged 14 years or older who had used cannabis in the previous 12 months, only 7.2% had not used any other listed drugs while using cannabis (Table 6.10). Males were more likely than females to use any drug in combination with cannabis except for over-the-counter pain-killers, which had the same proportion for both sexes (2.9%). The most common drugs that were mixed with cannabis were alcohol (85.2%) and tobacco (68.8%). Ecstasy was the most common illicit drug to be used at the same time as cannabis (23.9%)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011. 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25. Cat. no. PHE 145. Canberra: AIHW, p. 113.
http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkAre...

11. Prevalence of Cocaine Use in Australia

"There was a significant increase in the proportion of people who were offered or had the opportunity to use cocaine in 2013 (from 4.4% in 2010 to 5.2%). However, there was no change in the proportion using cocaine in the previous 12 months (2.1%) (online tables 5.3 and 5.12). Recent users also used cocaine less often in 2013, with a lower proportion using it every few months (from 26% to 18.0%) and a higher proportion using it once or twice a year from 61% to 71% (Online Table 5.11).
"Of people aged 14 or older, 8.1% (or 1.5 million) had used cocaine in their lifetime, and 2.1% (or about 400,000 people) had used it in the previous 12 months (Online Table 5.5). Cocaine use was highest among:
"• males, who were twice as likely as females to have used cocaine in the preceding 12 months (2.9% and 1.4%, respectively for those aged 14 or older)
"• those aged 30–39, who were most likely to have ever used cocaine (16.2%), particularly males (19.6%) (online tables 5.7 and S5.20)
"• people aged 20–29, both males (7.3%) and females (4.6%), were most likely to have used cocaine in the previous 12 months."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 63.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

12. Mortality from Heroin Use

"The majority of drug deaths in an Australian study, conducted by the National Alcohol and Drug Research Centre, involved heroin in combination with either alcohol (40 percent) or tranquilizers (30 percent)."

Peele, Stanton, MD (1998), "The persistent, dangerous myth of heroin overdose," published in DPFT News (Drug Policy Forum of Texas), August, 1999, p. 5, from The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, last accessed Nov. 7, 2017.
http://www.peele.net/lib/heroi...

13. Prevalence and Trends in Methamphetamine Use in Australia

"In 2013, about 1.3 million (7.0%) people had used meth/amphetamines in their lifetime and 400,000 (2.1%) had done so in the last 12 months (Online Table 5.5). Males were more likely than females to have used meth/amphetamines in their lifetime (8.6% and 5.3%, respectively) or in the last 12 months (2.7% and 1.5% respectively). In addition:
"• people aged 30–39 were slightly more likely than those in other age groups to have ever used meth/amphetamines (14.7%), while people aged 20–29 were more likely to have recently used meth/amphetamines (5.8%) (Online Table 5.7)
"• meth/amphetamine users are getting older; the average age of users was 24 in 2001, compared with 28 in 2013 (Online Table 5.16) and age of first use was also older, increasing from 17.9 in 2010 to 18.6 in 2013 among young people aged 14–24 (Online Table 5.10)
"• most people who were offered or had the opportunity to use meth/amphetamines didn’t use it—5.8% of people aged 14 or older were offered meth/amphetamines and 2.1% had used it (online tables 5.4 and 5.12)
"• among people aged 20–29, 14.1% had been offered or had the opportunity to use the drug, and 5.8% had used it (online tables 5.18 and S5.28)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 60.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

14. Prevalence of Ecstasy Use in Australia

"The opportunity to use ecstasy was less common than cannabis with 7.2% of Australians stating they had been offered or had the opportunity to use the drug in the last 12 months (Online Table 5.12). Ecstasy was the second most commonly used illicit drug in a person’s lifetime, with 2.1 million (10.9%) people aged 14 or older reporting having ever used the drug and 500,000 had done so in the past 12 months, representing 2.5% of the population (Online Table 5.4). In addition:
"• the majority of recent ecstasy users only took ecstasy once or twice a year (54%) (Online Table 5.11)
"• the median age of recent ecstasy users was 25 (Online Table 5.16) and most people tried ecstasy as adults as the average age of initiation was 18.2 among people aged 14–24 (Online Table 5.10)
"• most ecstasy users claimed that at least some of their friends also used the drug; three-quarters said that about half or fewer of their friends currently used and one-quarter said all or most (Online Table 5.14)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 59.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

15. Prevalence of Alcohol Use in Australia

"Between 1993 and 2007, the daily drinking rate for people aged 14 or older remained largely unchanged, at around 8% (Figure 4.1). However, in 2010, there was a significant fall compared to 2007, and in 2013, the proportion drinking daily again declined from 7.2% to 6.5%. In addition:
"• in the previous 12 months, around three-quarters (78%) of the population aged 14 or older had consumed a full serve of alcohol, and 22% had not consumed alcohol
"• the proportion of people aged 14 or older who had never had a full serve of alcohol has risen since 2004, with an increase between 2010 and 2013 (from 12.1% to 13.8%)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013." Drug statistics series no. 28., Cat. no. PHE 183 (Canberra: AIHW, Nov. 2014), p. 33.
http://aihw.gov.au/publication...
http://aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/Do...

16. Risk of Alcohol-Related Harm Over A Lifetime

"About 1 in 5 people in Australia aged 14 years or older consumed alcohol at a level that puts them at risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetime (Table 4.4). Results from the 2010 survey showed that:
"• there was little change in the proportion of risky drinkers from 2007 (20.3%) to 2010 (20.1%)
"• more than 3.7 million people in Australia aged 14 years or older were at risk of an alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetime based on their pattern of drinking in 2010 (up from 3.5 million in 2007)
"• people aged 18–29 years were more likely than any other age group to drink alcohol in a way that put them at risk of alcohol-related harm over their lifetime (31.7% for those aged 18–19 years and 26.9% for those aged 20–29 years)
"• males were twice as likely as females to drink alcohol in quantities that put them at risk of incurring an alcohol-related chronic disease or injury over their lifetime (29.0% and 11.3%, respectively)
"• according to guideline 3 of the 2009 guidelines, for those aged under 18 years, not drinking is the safest option, and this is especially important for children aged under 15 years. Positively, the proportion of people aged 12–15 years and 16–17 years abstaining from alcohol increased in 2010 (from 69.9% to 77.2% and from 24.4% to 31.6%, respectively)."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011. 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25. Cat. no. PHE 145. Canberra: AIHW, pp. 51-52.
http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkAre...

17. Prevalence of Tobacco Use

"In 2010, 15.1% of people in Australia aged 14 years or older were daily smokers, declining from 16.6% in 2007. Between 1991 and 2010, the proportion of daily smokers declined by almost 40% to the lowest levels seen over the 19-year period (Table 3.1). The proportion of people who had never smoked increased. Also:
"• the number of people smoking daily in 2010 decreased by approximately 100,000 people (2.9 million in 2007 down to 2.8 million in 2010)
"• just under one-quarter of the population (24.1%) were estimated to be ex-smokers and more than half (57.8%) had never smoked in their life in 2010
"In 2010, those people who had never smoked (10.6 million) and those who were ex-smokers (4.4 million) far exceeded the number of smokers (3.3 million) aged 14 years or older."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011. 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25. Cat. no. PHE 145. Canberra: AIHW, pp. 22-23.
http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkAre...

18. Prevalence of Opioid Analgesics

"Australia’s consumption of opioid analgesics is ranked 10th internationally; North America ranks first. Per capita consumption of oxycodone and morphine preparations in Australia is relatively high (ranked third and fifth respectively, internationally); Canada ranks first for oxycodone and Austria first for morphine.1 Consumption levels in Australia are still well below the top-ranking countries. Previous research in Australia has documented increases in the number of prescriptions for morphine in the late 1990s2,3 and, more recently, increases in consumption of oxycodone.4"

Amanda Roxburgh, Raimondo Bruno, Briony Larance and Lucy Burns, "Prescription of opioid analgesics and related harms in Australia," Medical Journal of Australia, 2011; 195 (5): 280-284. doi: 10.5694/mja10.11450
https://www.mja.com.au/journal...
https://www.mja.com.au/system/...

19. Prevalence of Opioid Analgesics

"Morphine prescriptions declined from 38.3 to 30.7 per 1000 population between 2002–03 and 2007–08, representing a decrease of about 20%. Box 1A shows trends in morphine prescriptions by 10-year age group. Prescriptions were most common among older people (aged 70–79 and 80+ years), and much less common among younger people (aged 20–29 and 30–39 years). Significant linear declines over time were apparent in all age groups except the 50–59-year group."

Amanda Roxburgh, Raimondo Bruno, Briony Larance and Lucy Burns, "Prescription of opioid analgesics and related harms in Australia," Medical Journal of Australia, 2011; 195 (5): 280-284. doi: 10.5694/mja10.11450
https://www.mja.com.au/journal...
https://www.mja.com.au/system/...

20. Drug Arrests, by Drug and Type

"• In 2009–10, cannabis accounted for the highest number of drug-related arrests. There were 57,170 arrests involving cannabis in 2009–10, an increase of three percent from 2008–09, but an overall decrease of 17 percent from the number of arrests recorded in 1996–97.
"• The number of arrests for heroin peaked in 1998–99 with 14,341 arrests. This number fell considerably between 1999–2000 and 2001–02 before declining fairly consistently over the next 10 year period. In 2009–10, 2,767 arrests were made that involved heroin—an 81 percent decrease in arrests over that time.
"• In 1996–97, the number of arrests involving amphetamines was slightly below that of arrests involving ‘other’ drugs. Since then, however, arrests involving amphetamines have generally increased more than those involving other drugs, although this difference diminished in 2010, with only 3,893 more amphetamine arrests than arrests for other drugs. Overall, however, there has been a 258 percent increase in the number of amphetamine-related arrests since 1996–97.
"• In 2009–10, the number of cocaine arrests increased by 47 percent, rising from 848 in 2008–09 to 1,244. Despite this, the overall number of cocaine arrests remained lower than for any other drug type throughout the period.
"• Drug arrests involving a consumer were far more common across all drug types than those involving a provider. The highest proportion of those arrested (both consumers and providers) were for crimes involving cannabis (86%).
"• Providers accounted for 32 percent of cocaine-related arrests, 31 percent of heroin-related arrests and 28 and 24 percent of amphetamine and other drug-related offences, respectively."

"Australian Crime: Facts & Figures: 2011," ISSN 1836-2249 (Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, March 2012), pp. 40-41.
http://www.aic.gov.au...
http://www.aic.gov.au...

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