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Overview and background

The National Drug Strategy Household Surveys provide cross-sectional data on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia. The survey is part of the National Drug Strategy which aims to improve the health, social and economic outcomes for the Australian Society.

The data collected by these surveys are used to provide estimates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia. The data collected also measure community attitudes towards alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. It also asks about respondent's awareness of and community support for various drug-related policies.

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey is the twelfth in a series of household surveys conducted by the Australian Government. Previous surveys were conducted in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is conducting the 2016 survey. Fieldwork will run from June to November and it is anticipated that results from the survey will be released in mid-late 2017.

The funding for the survey is provided by the Australian Government Department of Health. Roy Morgan Research Ltd have been contracted to collect the information for this survey.


The project objectives are to gather data about drug use and related issues in the general population by means of a household-based survey.

The specific objectives of the 2016 survey are to:

  • provide estimates of licit and illicit drug use
  • provide information on drug use patterns and trends, and on drugs and health
  • identify groups with a high risk for drug abuse
  • provide data on drug related abuse and potential harm
  • measure community awareness and knowledge of licit and illicit drugs
  • measure community support for various drug-related policies.

The potential survey population is people aged 12 years or older residing in private dwellings in Australia, at the time of the survey. The person aged 12 years or older who has the most recent birthday is selected as the potential respondent. The design of the survey excludes those who live in non-private dwellings, are homeless or live in institutions or on military bases.

Privacy and ethics

All the information collected through the survey is protected by legislation. Section 29 of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 prohibits the release of any information about individuals collected in the survey. No results or any other data that could possibly identify individuals will be released.

The research is carried out in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the information is only used for research purposes.

The survey project was approved by the AIHW Ethics Committee.