What proportion of Australians aged 12-17 years in the general population have used pharmaceutical drugs in their lifetime?

Approximately half (54%) of Australians aged 12-17 years in the general population have used pharmaceutical drugs in their lifetime. Fifty-three percent of young Australians have used pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids during their lifetime and 7% have used tranquillisers/sleeping pills.

53% of Australians aged 12-17 years in the general population have used pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids in their lifetime, 7% have used tranquillisers/sleeping pills, 0.2%** have used methadone/buprenorphine and 54% have used any pharmaceutical drug. ** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2019).

†This FAQ uses data from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which defines the pharmaceutical drugs referred to in this question as: the medical or non-medical use of pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids (panadeine forte, nurofen plus, mersyndol, disprin forte, morphine and oxycodone (excluding paracetamol, asprin and ibuprofen where these drugs are the only active ingredients)), tranquillisers/sleeping pills (e.g., sleepers, benzos, tranks, temazzies, temaze, rivotril, serepax, serries, xanax, xannies, stilnox, rohypnol, rowies, valium) and methadone/buprenorphine (e.g., done, junk, jungle juice, bupe, sub).

** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.