Australian youth aged 12-17 years in the general population

What proportion of Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years has used cannabis?

Among Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years, 10% have used cannabis in their lifetime, 9% in the past 12 months, 5% in the past month and 3% in the past week.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

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 Australian school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Australian males in the general population aged 12-17 years are more likely than females to have used cannabis in their lifetime, the past 12 months, past month, and past week.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

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 Australian school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Australians in the general population aged 16-17 years are more likely to have used cannabis in their lifetime, the past 12 months, the past month and the past week than those aged 12-15 years.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

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 Australian school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years regularly use cannabis?

Among Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, 46% are regular cannabis users.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

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 Australian school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?

Among Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, males are more likely than females to be regular cannabis users (50% vs 40%, respectively).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

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 school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to regularly use cannabis?

Among Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years (who have used cannabis in the past 12 months), 16-17 year olds are more likely than 12-15 year olds to be regular cannabis users.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

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 school students 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 Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years use cannabis?

Of Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, the majority smoked cannabis as a joint (78%) or in a bong/pipe (77%).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

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 Australian school students 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.

Where do Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years usually use cannabis?

The majority of Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years (who have used cannabis in the past 12 months) usually used cannabis in private homes.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

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 Australian school students 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.