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Providing the evidence base to reduce harmful AOD use in
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Date posted: 3 December 2014
Australians in remote areas are twice as likely to use methamphetamines, smoke daily or engage in risky drinking as those in cities.
The findings, published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, are based on the National drug strategy household survey, which collected data from 24,000 people in the second half of 2013.
It found more than two in five Australians either smoked daily, drank alcohol in ways that placed them at risk of harm, or used an illicit drug in the previous 12 months.
There was a significant rise in use of pharmaceuticals, with 900,000 people reporting using a pharmaceutical drug for non-medical purposes in the previous 12 months. Of these, almost 3 in 10 used weekly or more often.
The increase was mainly due to an increase in the use of these drugs by men in their 30s and women in their 40s. Painkillers were the most commonly used pharmaceuticals.
The proportion of pregnant women abstaining from alcohol rose from 49% in 2010 to 53% in 2013.
However, more than half of pregnant women consumed alcohol before they knew they were pregnant, and one in four continued to drink even once they knew they were pregnant.
Almost a third of Aboriginal Australians smoked daily, which was about 2.5 times the proportion of non-Aboriginal Australians who did so. Cannabis use among Aboriginal Australians was about twice as common as among non-Aboriginal Australians.
Source: The Age