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New report reveals concerning new trends in alcohol and drug use in young people

By March 6, 2024May 21st, 2024No Comments

The latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey has just been released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This report, released every three years, explores Australians’ use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. The report provides insight into young people’s use of alcohol and other drugs. 

While historically men have been more likely to use illicit drugs, the survey revealed that for the first time young women aged 18-24 were as likely to use illicit drugs as young men of the same age. In 2022-23, 35% of females aged 18-24 reported recent use of illicit drugs, up from around 27% in 2019, while recent use among young men remained stable at 35%.  

Risky alcohol consumption also increased among young women, narrowing the gap between men and women in this age group. In 2019, males aged 18-24 were much more likely to consume alcohol at risky levels than females of the same age, with 47% of males compared to 35% of females. However, in 2022-23, 45% of males consumed alcohol at risky levels compared to 40% of females, the smallest gap seen since 2001.  

The 2022-2023 survey analysed trends in vaping for the first time. Interestingly, it also shows that while tobacco use has fallen among young people, vaping is more widespread, with 49% of young people aged 18-24 reporting they had tried an e-cigarette in their lifetime. This makes them the age group where vaping is most common. 

The full report provides a detailed and insightful picture of how Australians are using alcohol and other drugs, who is most at risk, and what the impact on young people is. 


Read the full report at