Cocaine Use Up

The proportion of Australians that used cocaine in the previous 12 months increased significantly from 1 per cent in 2004 to 1.6 per cent in 2007.

This represents an additional 111,000 Australians using cocaine.

The proportion of the Australian population that had ever used cocaine increased significantly from 4.7 per cent in 2004 to 5.9 per cent in 2007.

Cocaine users fall into two groups being either employed, well educated and socially integrated or the larger group of lower socio economic status which usually injects cocaine.

Cocaine users in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria reported that cocaine was easy to obtain.

As a result of the increasing demand for cocaine and its importation there was a 71 per cent increase in cocaine detections at Australian borders between 2006/7 and 2007/8.

Long term effects of cocaine use include death, insomnia, depression, anxiety, psychosis, heart attacks and strokes.

(Source: Australian Crime Commission, Illicit Drug Report 2007/8, released June 2009)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Demand is very high for cocaine in Australia so increased usage from even higher demand would cause even more damage to users.

Australia needs to reduce cocaine usage by adopting world's best practice of placing identified cocaine users into programs to get them free of cocaine.

Australia must reduce demand for cocaine by getting our users off drugs by court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.