How often do Australians usually use pharmaceutical drugs for non-medical purposes?
Among Australians who have used pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids for non-medical purposes in the past 12 months, 7% use every day, 12% use once a week or more, 15% use about once a month, 22% use every few months, and 44% use once or twice a year.
Among Australians who have used tranquillisers/sleeping pills for non-medical purposes in the past 12 months, 5% use every day, 11% use once a week or more, 19% use about once a month, 22% use every few months, and 43% use once or twice a year.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2021).
† This FAQ uses data from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which defines the pharmaceutical drugs referred to in this question as: the non-medical use of pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids (oxycodone, morphine, codeine products such as panadeine forte (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).
Non-medical use: A drug used:
- By itself to induce a drug experience or feeling; or
- With other drugs in order to enhance a drug experience.