2.17 Drug and other substance use including inhalants

This measure reports on the use of drugs and other substances, including inhalants by Indigenous Australians.

Why is it important?

This measure reports on the use of drugs and other substances, including inhalants. Drug and other substance use is a contributing factor to illness and disease, accident and injury, violence and crime, family and social disruption and workplace problems (SCRGSP 2014). Substance use is often associated with mental health problems (Catto & Thomson 2008) and has been found to be a factor in suicides (Robinson et al. 2011). For communities, there is increased potential for social disruption, such as domestic violence, crime and assaults (Franks 2006). Alcohol and substance use has been found to be a factor in assault (Mitchell, 2011; Mouzos & Makkai 2004). Risky sexual behaviour is also associated with alcohol and illicit drug use, leading to increased sexually transmitted infections among younger people (Wand et al. 2016). Drugs and other substance use play a significant role in Indigenous people’s involvement in the criminal justice system (AHMAC 2017).

Related measures

Data sources

  • Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
  • Drug Use Monitoring in Australia Survey
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
  • National Hospital Morbidity Database

References

  • AHMAC 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report. Canberra: AHMAC.
  • Catto M & Thomson N 2008. Review of illicit drug use among Indigenous peoples. Perth: Edith Cowan University, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.
  • Franks C 2006. Gallinyalla: a town of substance? A descriptive study of alcohol, tobacco, medicines and other drug use in a rural setting. Rural and Remote Health 6:491.
  • Mitchell L 2011. Domestic violence in Australia: an overview of the issues. Canberra: Department of Parliamentary Services.
  • Mouzos J & Makkai T 2004. Women’s experiences of male violence: findings from the Australian component of the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS), Canberra: AIC.
  • Robinson G, Silburn S & Leckning B 2011. Suicide of children and youth in the NT,2006–2010: Public release report for the Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee. Darwin: Menzies Centre for Child Development and Education.
  • SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2014. Overcoming Indigenous disadvantage: key indicators 2014. Canberra: Productivity Commission.
  • Wand H, Ward J, Bryant J, Delaney‑Thiele D, Worth H, Pitts M et al. 2016. Individual and population level impacts of illicit drug use, sexual risk behaviours on sexually transmitted infections among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: results from the GOANNA survey. BMC Public Health 16:600.