Increasing Illicit Drug use Evidence

The latest survey in Victoria of illicit drug use shows an increasing number of young people have used an illicit drug within the last year.

One out of three (31 per cent) of young Victorians had used cannabis within the last 12 months in 2003 compared to 28 per cent in 2002.

One out of eight (12 per cent) of young Victorians had used ecstasy or other party drugs within the last 12 months in 2003 compared to 10 per cent in 2002.

One in ten (10 per cent) of young Victorians had used amphetamines within the last 12 months in 2003 compared to 8 per cent in 2002.

(Source: 2003 Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey)

More than one out of four (28 per cent) of Australian teenagers (14-19 year olds) had used an illicit drug during the last 12 months in 2001.

One out of three (35 per cent) of Australians in their twenties had used an illicit drug in 2001.

(Source: Aust. Inst. Of Health & Welfare 2001 National Drug Strategy Household Survey)

Cannabis the most widely used illicit drug is proven to cause cancer of the mouth, upper aerodigestive tract, tongue, upper airways and lungs as well as leukemia and schizophrenia, etc.

(Source: The Human Toxicity of Marijuana. Medical Journal of Aust. 6/4/1992)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

The Victorian and previous national surveys show an INCREASE in illicit drug use.

Current harm minimisation policies are NOT reducing the demand for illicit drugs.

Similar surveys from Sweden show drug use by young people are five times lower than here in Australia.

Increasing illicit drug use WILL cause long term health problems for our young people.