Do Australians consider pharmaceutical drug use to be a problem?

When Australians were asked which drug they first think of when people talk about “a drug problem”, 2% chose pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids, and 0.4% chose methadone/buprenorphine. Meth/amphetamine was the drug most likely to be considered a problem (46%).

In 2016, when Australians were asked which drug they first think of when people talk about “a drug problem”, 46% chose meth/amphetamine, 15% cannabis, 14% heroin, 8% cocaine, 6% alcohol, 3% ecstasy, 2% tobacco, 2% pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids, 0.4% methadone/buprenorphine, 0.2% steroids, 0.6% other drugs, and 3% none/can’t think of any.

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

Please note: For the purpose of this FAQ, pharmaceutical drugs refer to pain-killers/pain relievers/opioids (e.g. panadeine forte, nurofen plus, mersyndol, disprin forte, morphine, oxycodone), and methadone/buprenorphine (e.g. done, junk, jungle juice, bupe, sub). 

Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.