Survey Summary

breathalyser, drug test, drug testing*All information and statistics sourced in this article were compiled by the 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. CMM Technology supports the use of accurate and relevant statistics and findings in the area of alcohol and other drugs.

The 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was developed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and offers Australian business and industry a comprehensive insight and understanding of the patterns and affects of drug and alcohol use nationally. The survey is one of the largest of its kind ever conducted in Australia, and has offered the corporate world and the drug and alcohol fields a wealth of statistical information that can aid in the development of drug and alcohol testing procedures, OHS policy and procedures in relation to alcohol and other drugs and also Fitness for Duty issues. This article will highlight some of the key findings of this survey. CMM Technology hopes this information will be helpful to you and to your business.[1]


  • 9 out of 10 Australians aged 14 and over have tried alcohol at some point in life.
  • 1 in 7 people admitted to driving a vehicle under the influence
  • 1 in 17 verbally abused someone while under the influence
  • 77% of people “accept” the regular use of alcohol by adults
  • Alcohol is the most socially acceptable drug
  • High risk and risky drinker are more likely to experience high or very high levels of psychological distress

Illicit Drugs

  • 2 in 5 (nearly) Australian used an illicit drug at some point in their lives.
  • 1 in 7 used illicit drugs in the past 12 months
  • The most accessible illicit drugs are painkillers/analgesics
  • Marijuana is the most common illegal drug
  • 3.3% of Australians drive a motor vehicle while under the influence
  • 1 in 10 people were verbally abused by someone affected by illicit drugs
  • 2 out of 5 people who used illicit drugs reported high levels of psychological distress

Alcohol and Drug related costs

Alcohol and drugs (as well as tobacco) significantly contribute to injury, illness, disease, workplace problems, violence, crime rates and family breakdown. The current estimated economic costs associated with licit and illicit drug use, around the year 2000, stood at $34.5 billion.

Australian Drug Availability

The survey also focused on the ready availability of illicit drugs and alcohol in the Australian community. The results were as follows:

  • 9 in 10 (90.3%) aged 14 and over had been offered alcohol or had alcohol available for use.
  • 1 in 5 (20.6%) of the population 14 and over were offered or had the opportunity to use marijuana/cannabis.

Acceptability of Alcohol and other Drug use

  • 77% of adults in Australia believe regular use of alcohol is acceptable
  • 23.2% of Australians aged 14 and over consider the regular use of marijuana/cannabis as acceptable.

Patterns of Use

  • 58% of people 20-39 yrs had used an illicit substance in their lifetime
  • 29.3% of teenagers have used an illicit substance
  • In 2004 there were 2.5 million illicit drug users in Australia
  • One in 3 had used marijuana at some point in their lives
  • Heroin has been used by 1.4% of the population
  • Meth/amphetamines had been used by 1% of the population
  • 21.1% of 20-29 year olds had used methamphetamines
  • 12% of 20-29 year olds had used ecstasy in the year preceding the study[2]

These statistics indicate the widespread permeation of alcohol and other substances in the Australian culture and way of life. Importantly, these statistics and the pervasiveness of these substances have real impact on workplace culture and profitability. CMM Technology supports the use of reliable data such as that of The National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which can aid in a fuller understanding of the threat alcohol and drugs pose to the Australian economy, way of life and businesses. If you require testing products or advice about screening technologies to help monitor and guard against the impact of AOD’s in your workplace call CMM Technology. CMM Technology +618 9204 2500

[1] 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Canberra

[2] Ibid.

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