Illicit Drug Use – Combating Emerging Trends

Building on the achievements of the Government’s Tough on Drugs initiative, this measure will target new trends in illicit drug use, particularly the growing use of highly addictive forms of psychostimulants, including crystal methamphetamine (Ice).

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • This measure will build on the significant achievements of the Government’s Tough on Drugs initiative and will target new trends in illicit drug use, particularly the growing use of highly addictive forms of psychostimulants, including crystal methamphetamine (Ice).
  • Research in 2004 revealed that over half a million Australians had used methamphetamines in the previous 12 months. Research undertaken by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) estimated that there are approximately 73,000 dependent methamphetamine users in Australia. Methamphetamine-related psychosis is of particular concern, with a 58 per cent rise in the number of recorded hospital admissions for stimulant-related psychosis since 1999.

Who will benefit?

  • Through the continuation of the successful National Drugs Campaign, young Australians and their parents will be provided with accurate and frank information about the risks of drug use.
  • Drug and alcohol workers across the nation will be provided with up-to-date training programmes and resources for responding to the symptoms of drug use, particularly crystal methamphetamine.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed $38.9 million ($34.4 million in new funding) over the next four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • To date, the Government has spent more than $1 billion on initiatives to tackle Australia’s drug problems, including $31 million on the National Drugs Campaign.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Funding has been allocated for the next four years and will be reviewed in the 2010-11 Budget.

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