What proportion of Australian school students aged 12-17 years have used pharmaceutical drugs?
The majority of Australian school students aged 12-17 years have used analgesics (for either medical or non-medical purposes) in their lifetime (95%), in the past year (92%), and in the past month (66%). Thirty-nine percent used analgesics in the past week. Smaller proportions had used tranquillisers (for non-medical purposes) in their lifetime (20%), past year (13%), past month (6%), and past week (4%).
Source: Cancer Council Victoria. (2018). ASSAD 2017 Statistics & Trends: Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, and illicit substances.
Please note: This FAQ uses data from the Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug Survey, which defines the pharmaceutical drugs referred to in this question as: the medical or non-medical use of analgesics (defined as: pain-killers/analgesics such as ‘Disprin®’, ‘Panadol®’ or ‘Nurofen®’) and the non-medical use of tranquillisers (defined as sleeping tablets, tranquillisers, sedatives or benzodiazepines, such as valium, mogadon, diazepam, temazepam (mazzies, vallies, moggies, jellies), serepax (serries) or rohypnol (rohies, barbs)).