Australian school students aged 12-17 years

What proportion of Australian school students aged 12-17 years has used cannabis?

The majority (85%) of Australian school students aged 12-17 years have never used cannabis. Thirteen percent have used cannabis in the past year; 7% in the past month; and 4% in the past week.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who have used cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who have used cannabis (see FAQ What proportion of Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years has used cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to record the frequency of their cannabis use (0-40 times) in the past year, month, and week. By contrast, the general population survey asks respondents to record whether or not they used cannabis in the past year, month, and week. 

Are male or female Australian school students aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Male Australian school students aged 12-17 years are more likely to have ever used cannabis than their female counterparts (16% vs 13%). Compared to females, male students aged 12-17 are also more likely to have used cannabis in the past year, past month, and past week.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who have used cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who have used cannabis (see FAQ Are male or female Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to record the frequency of their cannabis use (0-40 times) in the past year, month, and week. By contrast, the general population survey asks respondents to record whether or not they used cannabis in the past year, month, and week. 

Are younger or older Australian school students aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years, the likelihood of using cannabis increases with age. Older students are more likely to have used cannabis in their lifetime and in the past year, past month and past week compared to younger students.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who have used cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who have used cannabis (see FAQ Are younger or older Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to record the frequency of their cannabis use (0-40 times) in the past year, month, and week. By contrast, the general population survey asks respondents to record whether or not they used cannabis in the past year, month, and week. 

What proportion of Australian school students aged 12-17 years regularly use cannabis?

Approximately 4% of Australian school students aged 12-17 years are regular cannabis users.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2014).

Please note: The proportion of school students who regularly use cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who regularly use cannabis (see FAQ What proportion of Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years regularly use cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. In the school students’ survey (ASSAD), regular use is defined as using cannabis 10 or more times during the past year. By contrast, in the general population survey (NDSHS) regular use is defined as using cannabis 12 or more times during the past 12 months.

Regular Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use refers to using cannabis 10 or more times in the past year (in the case of ASSAD data), or at least once per month or 12 times in the past year (in the case of NDSHS data).

Are male or female school students aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years, 5% of male students and 3% of female students are regular cannabis users.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who regularly use cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who regularly use cannabis (see FAQ Are male or female Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. In the school students’ survey (ASSAD), regular use is defined as using cannabis 10 or more times during the past year. By contrast, in the general population survey (NDSHS) regular use is defined as using cannabis 12 or more times during the past 12 months.

Regular Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use refers to using cannabis 10 or more times in the past year (in the case of ASSAD data), or at least once per month or 12 times in the past year (in the case of NDSHS data).

Are younger or older school students aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years, the likelihood of regular cannabis use increases with age.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who regularly use cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who regularly use cannabis (see FAQ Are younger or older Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. In the school students’ survey (ASSAD), regular use is defined as using cannabis 10 or more times during the past year. By contrast, in the general population survey (NDSHS) regular use is defined as using cannabis 12 or more times during the past 12 months.

Regular Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use refers to using cannabis 10 or more times in the past year (in the case of ASSAD data), or at least once per month or 12 times in the past year (in the case of NDSHS data).

What are the most common ways Australian school students aged 12-17 years use cannabis?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years who regularly use cannabis, 69% smoke cannabis in a bong and 27% smoke it as a joint.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who use bongs/joints differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who use bongs/joints (see FAQ What are the most common ways Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years use cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to select one of four different methods of use. However, only data concerning the two most common methods of use among students who regularly use cannabis is publicly available. By contrast, the general population survey (NDSHS) asks respondents who have used cannabis at least once in the past 12 months to select one (or more) of five methods of use.

Regular Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use refers to using cannabis 10 or more times in the past year (in the case of ASSAD data), or at least once per month or 12 times in the past year (in the case of NDSHS data).

Where do Australian school students aged 12-17 years usually use cannabis?

Australian school students aged 12-17 years (who regularly use cannabis) usually use at a friend’s home (38%), their own home (20%), parties (19%), and parks (11%).

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The locations where school students use cannabis differ from the locations where young people in the general population use cannabis (see FAQ Where do Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years usually use cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to select one of 13 locations of use. However, only data concerning the four most common locations of use among students who regularly use cannabis is publicly available. By contrast, the general population survey (NDSHS) asks respondents who have used cannabis at least once in the past 12 months to select one (or more) of 11 locations of use. 

Regular Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use refers to using cannabis 10 or more times in the past year (in the case of ASSAD data), or at least once per month or 12 times in the past year (in the case of NDSHS data).