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.
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).
Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Practices in Australian Drug Policy: "Commitment to evidence An important aspect of Australia’s approach to drug use has been the commitment to a comprehensive evidence base. Under the National Drug Strategy 2010–2015 there is a continued commitment to evidence-based and evidence-informed practice. Evidence-based practice means using approaches which have proven to be effective.
"The harms to individuals, families, communities and Australian society as a whole from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are well known. For example, the cost to Australian society of alcohol, tobacco and other drug misuse1 in the financial year 2004–05 was estimated at $56.1 billion, including costs to the health and hospitals system, lost workplace productivity, road accidents and crime."
Public Health Impact of Marijuana Use: "The public health burden of cannabis use is probably modest compared with that of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs. A recent Australian study96 estimated that cannabis use caused 0·2% of total disease burden in Australia—a country with one of the highest reported rates of cannabis use. Cannabis accounted for 10% of the burden attributable to all illicit drugs (including heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines).
Syringe Exchange Activity in Australia: The number of needles and syringes distributed in Australia increased during the past decade (from ~27 million to ~31 million). Expenditure on NSPs increased by 36% (adjusted for inflation) over this time period, mostly associated with personnel and not principally for equipment (Table a); a significant portion of the increased investment has been the Illicit Diversion Supporting Measures for NSPs to increase referrals to drug treatment and other services.
Hepatitis C and Injection Drug Use in Australia "Approximately 83 per cent of HCV infections have resulted from unsafe injecting drug use practices. In Australia in 2006 it was estimated that approximately 264,000 people had been exposed to HCV and had HCV antibodies with around 197,000 living with chronic hepatitis C. The estimated number of new cases of HCV infection has declined from 16,000 per annum in 2001 to 10,000 in 2005. The majority (65 per cent) of people with HCV are aged between 20 and 39 years and 35 per cent of national notifications of HCV are in women.
Prevalence of Alcohol Use in Australia:
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).
(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.