Jun 01


Australians under 30 are drinking, smoking and using illicit drugs far less than pervious generations, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research shows. The latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey results, have found tobacco, alcohol and drug use by younger people has declined between 2001 and 2016.

But there has been in some instances little change, and even an increase in usage by people in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Although the survey found there was a significant increase in the number of people aged in their mid-to-late 20s who had never smoked, it did find no improvement in smoking rates for people in their 40s, which was the most likely group to smoke daily (16.9 per cent).

The report also stated that as with smoking, a smaller proportion of teenagers are drinking alcohol, down from 28 per cent in 2013 to 18 per cent (in) 2016,” a AIHW spokesman said.

Traditionally, women aged 18 to 24 are more likely to consume more than two standard drinks a day. Within this age group risky drinking was reduced by 7.2 per cent between 2007 and 2016. Lifetime risky drinking by women aged in their 50s increased by nearly 2 per cent over the same time period and a similar pattern was identified in men.

Source: Vickery, K & Armstrong, C, 2017. TEENS TURNED OFF PARTY LIFESTYLE. The Courier Mail, 1 June 2017. 14.

Mar 14

The Facts About Drug Addiction

It can help to know the signs of drug addiction and different types of dependence if you’re not sure if you have a problem. Understanding the negative effects on the body and mind can also give some perspective on drug use. But drug addiction is treatable, and finding out how to get help is the first courageous step to feeling better.

This might help if:

  • You want to know more about drug addiction
  • You or someone you know might be suffering from drug addiction
  • You want to know signs of addiction

Signs of drug addiction

Drug addiction is complex and can hurt people in a number of different ways. Not only does it have a physical health impact, but it can also affect mental health and social connections if you’re not careful.

Drug addiction occurs mostly with excessive use of party and other drugs; but prescription medication can also be a source of drug addiction and dependence.

Some of the signs of drug dependence include:

  • Avoiding non-users
  • Feeling uncomfortable and alone without drugs
  • Losing weight
  • Lying or not being honest with friends and family about how much you’re using
  • Getting into debt or spending money you can’t afford on drugs
  • Selling belongings to pay for drugs
  • Stealing from other people to pay for drugs

Types of drug addiction

Drug addiction can come in many different forms including both physical and psychological dependence on specific types of drugs. Some drugs that cause physical dependence include:

  • Heroin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs that cause psychological dependence can include:
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and magic mushrooms

Negative effects of drug addiction

There are a number of negative effects that come with drug addiction. Different drugs have different long term effects, however some common symptoms include:

  • Heightened anxiety or panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Memory or attention loss
  • Sexual problems (including impotence)

Getting help

Recognising the problem is the first step in getting help for addiction. No one can force another person to undergo treatment for a problem they don’t believe they have.

Many people think they can go cold turkey and give up drugs on their own, but that’s a really difficult way of going about it and often not the most successful. Talking to someone, whether it is a friend, teacher, parent, or a professional (a doctor or support service staff etc), is the best way of starting your recovery and figuring out your next steps.

It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. Read our links page to learn about the support options available for you.