Challenging Stigma Through Education

Scroll through some thought-provoking statistics about Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Australian and Western Australian community.
The following statistics can also be viewed in a pdf factsheet

1) WA’s hidden crisis: Harm from alcohol. Cancer Council Western Australia, WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, Alcohol and Drug Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute; Perth, WA. May 2022. Available at:

2) The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, National Drug Strategy Household Survey. Available at:

3) Anon, (n.d.). FASD FAQs – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder FAQs. Available at:

4) Bower, C., Watkins, R.E., Mutch, R.C., Marriott, R., Freeman, J., Kippin, N.R., Safe, B., Pestell, C., Cheung, C.S.C., Shield, H., Tarratt, L., Springall, A., Taylor, J., Walker, N., Argiro, E., Leitão, S., Hamilton, S., Condon, C., Passmore, H.M. and Giglia, R. (2018). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice: a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia. BMJ Open, 8(2), p.e019605. doi:

5) She raised three kids on her own because her husband was in prison. A diagnosis changed that. (2023). ABC News. 25 Feb. Available at:

6) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2023, Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia. Available at:

7) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2023, Mental Health. Available at:

8) Health direct (2019). Substance abuse. Available at:

9) Rethink Addiction and KPMG, Understanding the Cost of Addiction in Australia (2022). Rethink Addiction, Richmond, Victoria. Available at

10) Agramunt, S. and Lenton, S. (2022). Western Australian Drug Trends 2022: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. DOI: 10.26190/tz6s-je20. Available at:

11) World Mental Health Day: The impact of alcohol and other drugs – Alcohol and Drug Foundation. (2020). Available at:

12) Comorbidity Guidelines (n.d.). Management of co-occurring, or comorbid, AOD and mental health. Available at:

13) Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change (2016). Available at:

14) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Australia’s attitudes and perceptions towards drugs by region. Available at:

15) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report. Available at:

16) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Health of Prisoners. Available at:

17) Ritter, A. (2019). Decriminalisation or legalisation: injecting evidence in the drug law reform debate. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. UNSW. Sydney. Available at:

18) Drug use at WA prisons declines after suspension of social visits during COVID-19. (2020). ABC News. 25 Jun. Available at:

19) Illicit Drug Data Report 2019-20. (2021). Australia: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). Available at:

20) Quarterly Statistics – Custodial (Adult Prisoner) 2020 – Quarter 4. (2021). Australia: Government of Western Australia Department of Justice and Corrective Services. Available at:

21) Minimising Drugs and Alcohol in Prisons. (2017). Western Australia: Office of the Auditor General. Available at:

22) Roughead EE, Lim R, Ramsay E, et al. Persistence with opioids post discharge from hospitalisation for surgery in Australian adults: a retrospective cohort studyBMJ Open 2019;9:e023990. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023990. Available at:

23) Nilsson, U., Amirpour, A. (2023). That’s How We Like to Do it–The Over Prescription of Narcotic Pain Medication After Discharge. Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing. Available at:

24) Dery, M. (2019). Study reveals risk of opioid dependence following surgery. Australian Pharmacist. Available at:

25) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2023, Illicit Drug Use. Available at:

26) Ree, E. (2018). The Benzodiazepine Toolkit. Victoria: Reconnexion. Available at:

27) Monheit, B., Pietrzak, D. and Hocking, S. (2016). Prescription drug abuse – A timely update Patterns of abuse. FOCUS 862 REPRINTED FROM AFP, [online] 45(12). Available at:

28) Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). (2022). Scheduling basics of medicines and chemicals in Australia. Available at:

29) Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). (2018). Codeine information hub. Available at

30) Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). (2023). Change to classification of psilocybin and MDMA to enable prescribing by authorised psychiatrists. Available at

31) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2018-19. (2019). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Available at:

32) Wilson M, Stearne A, Gray D, Sherry S. (2010). The harmful use of alcohol amongst Indigenous Australians. Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. Available at

33) Prisoners in Australia, 2019. (2021). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Available at:

So now that we know all of this, what are we doing about it?

Here at the AODCCC our focus is Systemic Advocacy.
We represent and advocate for the needs and interests of the larger group, our Members, which are made up of those with a direct and/or indirect experience of alcohol and other drug use.

We want to see systemic change through advocating to inform policies, programs and laws.
You can view our current Submissions and Position Statements, along with current consultations open for public response HERE.

For a snapshot of where we stand on improving the outcomes of some of the above statistics, visit Where to Next?

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