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, cannabis use increases with age. Older students are more likely to have used cannabis in their lifetime, in the past year, past month and past week compared to younger students.

3% of Australian school students aged 12 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 3% in the past year; 2% in the past month; and 1% in the past week. 6% of Australian school students aged 13 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 5% in the past year; 3% in the past month; and 2% in the past week. 10% of Australian school students aged 14 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 9% in the past year; 6% in the past month; and 3% in the past week. 22% of Australian school students aged 15 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 20% in the past year; 10% in the past month; and 6% in the past week. 29% of Australian school students aged 16 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 27% in the past year; 15% in the past month; and 9% in the past week. 34% of Australian school students aged 17 years have used cannabis in their lifetime, 32% in the past year; 17% in the past month; and 9% in the past week.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria. (2018). ASSAD 2017 Statistics and Trends: Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs and illicit substances.

Please note: The proportion of school students who have used cannabis in the past year, past month, and past week differs from the proportion of youth in the general population who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, past month, and past week (see FAQ: Are younger or older Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?). These differences may be due to differences in survey measures. In the Australian Secondary School Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey, respondents are asked about their frequency of use (none to 40 times or more) in the past year, past month, and past week. In the general population survey (National Drug Strategy Household Survey), respondents are simply asked if they had used cannabis in the past 12 months, past month, or past week.