What proportion of Australians think pharmaceuticals are the drugs that cause most deaths in Australia?
When Australians were asked which drug they thought directly or indirectly caused the most deaths in Australia, 6% chose pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids, and 0.6% chose methadone/buprenorphine. Most people thought that alcohol (34%) or meth/amphetamine† (20%) caused the most deaths.
When Australians were asked which drug they thought directly or indirectly caused the most deaths in Australia, 34% chose alcohol, 20% meth/amphetamine, 19% tobacco, 12% heroin, 6% pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids, 4% cocaine, 3% ecstasy, 0.9% cannabis, 0.6% methadone/buprenorphine, 0.3% steroids, and 0.8% another drug.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2019 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.
Please note: For the purpose of this FAQ, pharmaceutical drugs refer to pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids (e.g. morphine, Panadeine Forte, Nurofen Plus), and methadone/buprenorphine.
Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.