Are illicit drugs more of a worry than alcohol?
Alcohol is a drug – it is a legal drug that has the potential to cause a wide range of short and long term harms. Alcohol is readily available and very accepted in Australian culture. Alcohol is also heavily promoted and available at low cost in forms that are highly appealing to young people.
A major national survey in 2016 found that 15.9% of 14-19 year olds and 28.2% of 20-29 year olds had used an illicit drug in the last year (cannabis was the most common drug reported).
The same survey found that 44.3% of 14-19 year olds and 81.8% of 20-29 year olds drank alcohol in the last year; 24% of 14-19 year olds and 55% of 20-29 year olds placed themselves at risk of an alcohol-related injury in 2016.