Has the prevalence of meth/amphetamine use in Australia changed over time by age?

Between 2001 and 2016 Australians aged 20-29 were more likely than other age groups to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months. Australians aged 50 years and older were least likely to have used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months.

In 2001, 6.2% of Australians aged 14-19 years had used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months compared to 4.4% in 2004, 1.6% in 2007, 1.6% in 2010, 2.0%* in 2013, and 0.8%* in 2016. In 2001, 11.2% of Australians aged 20-29 years had used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months compared to 10.7% in 2004, 7.3% in 2007, 5.9% in 2010, 5.7% in 2013, and 2.8% in 2016. In 2001, 3.1% of Australians aged 30-39 years had used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months compared to 4.1% in 2004, 3.9% in 2007, 3.4% in 2010, 3.1% in 2013, and 2.4% in 2016. In 2001, 1.0% of Australians aged 40-49 years had used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months compared to 1.2% in 2004, 1.0% in 2007, 1.1% in 2010, 1.4% in 2013, and 2.0 in 2016. In 2001, 0.2%* of Australians aged 50+ years had used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months compared to <0.1%* in 2004, 0.1% in 2007, 0.2% in 2010, 0.2% in 2013, and 0.3 in 2016.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

† 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.