Do younger or older Australians use meth/amphetamine more often?

Among Australians who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, older age groups are more likely to use frequently (i.e., once per week or more) than younger age groups, with the highest rates of frequent use found among those aged 40+ years. Infrequent use (i.e., using once or twice per year) is most common among those aged 14-17 years.

Among Australians aged 14-17 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, 0% used meth/amphetamine every day; 0% used once per week or more; 20%** used about once per month; 0% used every few months; and 80% used about once or twice per year. Among Australians aged 18-24 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, 1%** used meth/amphetamine every day; 12%** used once per week or more; 10%** used about once per month; 33%* used every few months; and 45% used about once or twice per year. Among Australians aged 25-29 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, 7%** used meth/amphetamine every day; 15%* used once per week or more; 9%** used about once per month; 28%* used every few months; and 41% used about once or twice per year. Among Australians aged 30-39 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, 7%* used meth/amphetamine every day; 12%* used once per week or more; 15%* used about once per month; 21% used every few months; and 45% used about once or twice per year. Among Australians aged 40+ years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, 6%** used meth/amphetamine every day; 21% used once per week or more, 7%* used about once per month; 22% used every few months; and 44% used about once or twice per year. * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution. ** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

† 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.

** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.