Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Australian Data (Cat. no. 4808.0) provides a guide to sources of national data on illicit drug use in Australia. Data on the use of illicit drugs come from diverse sources, with a variety of original purposes, and from different fields of study. The focus of this publication is on sources of national quantitative data which have been collected within the last 10 years concerning the use of illicit drugs within Australia.
This publication is a valuable reference for researchers as it draws together an exhaustive range of non-ABS as well as ABS sources. It covers both administrative and survey data, as well as relevant publications and research. It identifies sources of data available at October 2001 on each of the following issues: prevalence and pattern of illicit drug use, health consequences, impact on family and community members, associated law and order issues and the costs of illicit drug use. An alphabetical directory of data sources is provided in Appendix 1.
The publication includes a discussion on general issues associated with data quality. This information is presented to assist analysts and researchers make appropriate decisions about the use of the data. Most of the data sources provided in this publication are not ABS products but have been selected on the basis of their scope. Hence, their inclusion should not be taken as an ABS endorsement of their quality.
Many individuals and organisations have contributed to this project, and their cooperation is very much appreciated. In particular, I would like to thank the following organisations who contributed to a peer review of the publication: Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, and the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University.
The ABS has made every effort to contact all likely sources of national statistics related to illicit drug use. The ABS welcomes readers' suggestions on how the publication could be improved. To express your views, please contact the Director, Health Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 10, Belconnen ACT 2615.