Methamphetamine and Employment

This section provides information about methamphetamine use and employment. Differences in use patterns between employed and unemployed Australians, as well as those not in the labour force, are also examined.

This section uses data from individuals aged 14 years and older, from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014). The NDSHS is a triennial general population survey of Australians' awareness, attitudes, and behaviours relating to alcohol and other drug use. It is the best data source available to provide a national population employment profile of Australians’ patterns of methamphetamine use.

To be consistent with terminology used in the NDSHS, this section of the NADK uses the term meth/amphetamine. The NDSHS defines meth/amphetamine as including speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin®, and pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

Is the employment status of Australians related to meth/amphetamine use?

Unemployed Australians are most likely to have used meth/amphetaminein the past 12 months. Those not in the labour force are least likely to have done so.

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

Employed: Self-employed or working for salary or wages.

Employment Status: Whether an individual is currently: a) employed; b) unemployed; or c) not in the labour force.

Not in the Labour Force: Engaged in home duties, volunteer/charity work, student, retiree/pensioner, other.

Unemployed: Those who are not currently working and are actively seeking employment.

Does meth/amphetamine use among employed Australians vary by industry?

Compared to the total workforce, prevalence of meth/amphetamine use is particularly high in wholesale, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, and administrative services.

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

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

Please note: Only industries with a higher prevalence of methamphetamine use than the total workforce are displayed in the graph.

Employed: Self-employed or working for salary or wages.

Does meth/amphetamine use among employed Australians vary by gender?

Employed Australian men are more likely than employed women to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months (2.9% vs 1.7%, respectively).

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

Employed: Self-employed or working for salary or wages. 

Does meth/amphetamine use among employed Australians vary by age?

Employed Australians aged 25-29 years are the age group most likely to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months.

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

Employed: Self-employed or working for salary or wages.

Does meth/amphetamine use among unemployed Australians vary by gender?

Unemployed Australian men are more likely than unemployed women to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months.

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

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

Unemployed: Those who are not currently working and are actively seeking employment.

Does meth/amphetamine use among Australians not in the labour force vary by gender?

Among Australians not in the labour force, men are more likely than women to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months (1.5% vs 1.0%, respectively).

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

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

Not in the Labour Force: Engaged in home duties, volunteer/charity work, student, retiree/pensioner, other.