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Drug and alcohol use of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: findings of the Goanna survey

Drug and alcohol use of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: findings of the Goanna survey

Methods: A national cross sectional survey was administered using hand held personal digital assistants at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community events in every jurisdiction during 2011-2013. Aboriginal organisations and staff were engaged at every level of the project ensuring a self determination approach was applied to this research.

Results: A total of 2877 surveys were completed. 60% were female, median age of respondents was 21, 51% of surveys were collected from residents in major cities, 36% from regional centres and 9% from remote areas. Overall 17% of people aged 16-29 reported never drinking alcohol, including 24% of people aged 16-19, but 11% of 20-24 year olds. However of those that did drink alcohol, the level of consumption considered very risky (seven or more drinks on an occasion) was higher among males compared with females (44% vs. 33%, respectively) and increased with age (32% vs. 42% among 16-19 and 20-24 year olds respectively). Overall 42% and 43% of males and females respectively smoked tobacco. Just over a third (37%) of young people reported smoking cannabis in the last year and around 10% of males and females reported doing so daily. More daily use occurred in increasing age groups. Overall 15% of participants reported using methamphetamines, and 17% reported using ecstasy in the last year. No increases in use were observed with increasing age groups.

Discussion: This data supplements other national available data and provides comparative data to other population groups. Increasing harm minimisation strategies to reduce alcohol and other drug use in young people are required, especially among young males.

Speakers: Neil and Dwain
Conference: ASHM 2013
Areas of Interest / Categories: Australian Society for HIV 2013

Australian Society for HIV 2013

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