How many young people in Australia use alcohol or other drugs

You are in the minority

This resource has undergone expert review.

Year 7–8, Year 9–10, Year 11–12




How many young people aged 12–17 used drugs and alcohol in the past month?

It may be shown differently by the media, but the truth is that most young people have never tried an illegal drug or had a full serve of alcohol. This is important because if young people think that most of their friends use drugs they might be more inclined to try drugs as well. The following table outlines how many young people have used illegal drugs or consumed alcohol in the past month.

Drug How many people have used it
Alcohol (at least a full serve) 1 in 5 (22%)
E-cigarettes/Vapes 1 in 6 (16%)
Cannabis 1 in 14 (7%)
MDMA/Ecstasy 1 in 100 (1%)
Hallucinogens 1 in 100 (1%)
Methamphetamine 1 in 100 (1%)
Cocaine 1 in 100 (1%)
Heroin 1 in 500 (0.2%)

Evidence Base

Scully, M., Koh, I., Bain, E., Wakefield, M. & Durkin, S. (2023). ASSAD 2022-2023: Australian secondary school students’ use of alcohol and other substances. Cancel Council Victoria.

  • Credit to 2&2 for the 'Avoiding Drugs?' infographic.

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