The consumption of alcohol is widespread within Australia and entwined with many social and cultural activities. However, harmful levels of consumption are a major health issue, associated with increased risk of chronic disease, injury and premature death.

More reports and statistics on alcohol can be found under Alcohol & other drug treatment services, Illicit use of drugs and Smoking.

Latest findings

In 2016, about 1 in 8 Australians smoked daily while 6 in 10 had never smoked The non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is an increasing public health problem in Australia Self-reported levels of psychological distress are increasing among recent users of tobacco and illicit drugs The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who smoke has declined significantly 4 in 10 people either smoked daily, drank alcohol in risky quantities or used an illicit drug in the past 12 months In 2016, recent use of cannabis was highest in NT, meth/amphetamine use was highest in WA, cocaine was highest in NSW 10% of drinkers drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in 2016 but this declined from 12% in 2013 Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable burden in Australia People who inject drugs experience considerably poorer health outcomes than other drug users Homosexual/bisexual people were 5.8 times as likely as heterosexual people to use ecstasy and meth/amphetamines Over the past 50 years, levels of apparent consumption of different alcoholic beverages changed substantially 1 in 5 meth/amphetamine users used the drug weekly or more often in 2016 Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia There is a strong link between problematic alcohol or other drug use and experiences of homelessness Among current smokers, 3 in 10 tried to quit but did not succeed and about 1 in 3 do not intend to quit Support for legalisation of cannabis and use of it in clinical trials to treat medical conditions increased in 2016

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