What proportion of Australians has met the diagnostic criteria for a pharmaceutical drug use disorder at some time in their life?

Australians who have a sedative use disorder comprise a small subset of all people who use pharmaceutical drugs (either for medical or non-medical reasons). 

At some point during their life, 0.6% of Australians have met the diagnostic criteria for sedative abuse, and 0.3% have met the diagnostic criteria for sedative dependence.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: This FAQ uses data from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, which defines the pharmaceutical drugs referred to in this question as: sedatives (barbiturates, Librium, Serepax®, sleeping pills and Valium®).

Abuse: A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.

Dependence: A maladaptive pattern of use in which the use of drugs or alcohol takes on a much higher priority for a person than other behaviours that once had greater value. The central characteristic is the strong, sometimes overpowering, desire to take the substance despite significant substance-related problems.