Estimated Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use Among Youth in Australia

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.

Political Support for Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) in Australia

Political Support for Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) in Australia: "Australia’s first NSP was trialled in New South Wales in 1986 with the provision of NSP services becoming New South Wales Government policy in early 1987 and the remaining states and territories implementing NSPs soon after via primary, secondary and pharmacy outlets (Dolan et al., 2005). This occurred following the discovery of HIV and the potential threat that this virus posed to the Australian community.

Cost Savings from Syringe Exchange in Australia

Cost Savings from Syringe Exchange in Australia:"In Australia the [Needle and Syringe] Program is the single most important and cost-effective strategy in reducing drug-related harms among IDUs. Australian Governments invested $130 million in NSPs between 1991 and 2000 resulting in the prevention of an estimated 25,000 HIV infections and 21,000 HCV infections, with savings from avoided treatment costs of up to $7.8 billion (Health Outcomes International et al., 2002). In the decade 2000-2009, the gross funding for NSPs was $243 million.

Social Determinants and Substance Use

Social Determinants and Substance Use: There is strong evidence of an association between social determinants—such as unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and family breakdown—and drug use. Socio-economic status has been associated with drug-related harms such as foetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol and other drug disorders, hospital admissions due to diagnoses related to alcoholism, lung cancer, drug overdoses and alcohol-related assault.

Prevalence of Injection Drug Use

Prevalence of Injection Drug Use in Australia: "It has been estimated that a very low proportion of the Australian general population aged 14 years and over have ever injected or recently injected drugs. In 2010, 1.8% of the population had injected a drug in their lifetime, with 0.4% having injected a drug in the past year. More than one-quarter (27.1%) of recent users injected daily and the majority obtained their needles and syringes from a chemist (64.5%). Males were more likely to have recently injected drugs in the past year than females (0.6% versus 0.3%).

Substance Use, Social Support, and Child Protection Services

Substance Use, Social Support, and Child Protection Services: "The results of this study are important for the child protection field. They show that, rather than severity of substance use being associated with mothers’ involvement with the child protection system, other factors are of greater importance. Of particular interest was the finding that having greater social support, particularly from parents, significantly reduced the likelihood of being involved with the child protection system."