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Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?

By johnboy - 29 August 2008 24

The ABC has been having a poke into the 2007 data on drug use released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (Report here)

It seems that less of us are drinking and smoking on a regular basis, but…

    “The report shows 13.8 per cent of Canberrans have taken illicit drugs in the last 12 months.”

And bear in mind these are the results people are willing to confess to a man from the Government.

I’d say they’re extremely understated.

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?
Julius Constantius 4:57 pm 29 Aug 08

I think smoking will slowly die out naturally, but trying to force people to quit now would cause an uprising of sorts. Smokers Vs Non-Smokers a battle to the death *star trek suspenseful fight scene music playing*

jakez 4:29 pm 29 Aug 08

peterh said :

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

the only thing is that the other pursuits including drinking don’t have a warning label on them with a graphic image of one of a myriad of terminal diseases.

If you get sick from smoking, you put a drain on the health resources. If it is banned, think of the numbers of people who won’t need health resources, and where that money would be better spent.

I think it comes down to the type of society you want to live in though. All of what you just said, doesn’t rebut fnaah’s point. The things that fnaah mentioned all put a drain on our health resources however I don’t think that’s a reason to ban them. Liberty dies piece by piece and if we head down this path (a path created by Government intervention), we will soon find ourselves in the world of Demolition Man.

I’m already a cranky bastard. By that stage, enhancing my calm would be an impossibility.

Julius Constantius 4:26 pm 29 Aug 08

We should also ban fat people. Fat, fat fatties are no better than us bloody smokers

peterh 4:23 pm 29 Aug 08

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

the only thing is that the other pursuits including drinking don’t have a warning label on them with a graphic image of one of a myriad of terminal diseases.

If you get sick from smoking, you put a drain on the health resources. If it is banned, think of the numbers of people who won’t need health resources, and where that money would be better spent.

Julius Constantius 4:21 pm 29 Aug 08

If we banned filters I know I’d consider quitting.

jakez 4:14 pm 29 Aug 08

Julius Constantius said :

If we ban coolness then smoking will have no place in society.

Neither will I. 😛

Julius Constantius 4:05 pm 29 Aug 08

If we ban coolness then smoking will have no place in society.

jakez 3:52 pm 29 Aug 08

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

YES! As I was reading your post I was thinking of Demolition man!

fnaah 3:50 pm 29 Aug 08

Ban tobacco? Sure, whatever. Make the other stuff legal.

(Please feel free to take my statement and immkediately imply that I’m a commie/pinko/nutjob/hippie/Hitler/whatever).

Prohibition does not work (nor will it work for tobacco). Spend money figuring out *why* people want to anethsetise themselves, and maybe you’lkl figure out how to stop them doing it.

captainwhorebags 3:19 pm 29 Aug 08

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

peterh 3:11 pm 29 Aug 08

jakez said :

peterh said :

no-one wants to look at the impact for tobacco / health /taxpayer.
if they did, it might be banned.

See that’s the problem with taxpayer funded health systems. Now let me preface this by saying that I absolutely believe we should have taxpayer funded health systems and it is important we have a health safety net, however there is a cost to our freedom.

The problem is that smokers don’t suffer the consequences of their actions, we do. A government program becomes the justification for a further Government program that limits our liberty, because personal responsibility has been subverted.

Very frustrating.

and again i come back to the idea of banning tobacco.

the black market is rife in australia already, what with illegal weapons, illicit drugs etc, but the population does not seem to be affected by the black market, and tobacco users (myself included) would have no choice but to give up.

jakez 3:03 pm 29 Aug 08

peterh said :

no-one wants to look at the impact for tobacco / health /taxpayer.
if they did, it might be banned.

See that’s the problem with taxpayer funded health systems. Now let me preface this by saying that I absolutely believe we should have taxpayer funded health systems and it is important we have a health safety net, however there is a cost to our freedom.

The problem is that smokers don’t suffer the consequences of their actions, we do. A government program becomes the justification for a further Government program that limits our liberty, because personal responsibility has been subverted.

Very frustrating.

peterh 3:00 pm 29 Aug 08

no-one wants to look at the impact for tobacco / health /taxpayer.
if they did, it might be banned.

jakez 2:53 pm 29 Aug 08

Okay firstly let me say that that websites search facility is rubbish. Secondly, it appears the last survey was done in 2004 (9 have been completed since 1985) so I’ve taken the 2004 data.

Drug 2007 2004 Change

Marijuana/cannabis: 9.1% 14.0 -4.9%
Pain Killers/analgesics: 2.0% 2.7 -0.7%
Tranquilisers/sleeping pills: 2.0% 0.7 +1.3%
Steroids: 0.1% – .1%
Barbiturates: 0.2% 0.3 -0.1%
Inhalants: 0.6% 0.9 +0.3%
Heroin: – <0.1 0
Methadone: 0.1% 0.4 -0.3%
Other opiates: 0.1% 0.2 -0.1%
Meth/amphetamine: 2.3% 4.3 -2.0%
Cocaine: 1.4% 1.6 -0.2%
Hallucinogens: 0.8% 1.0 -0.2%
Ecstasy: 4.7% 6.0 -1.3%
Ketamine: 0.2% 0.2 0
GHB: <0.1% 0.1 0
Injected drugs: 0.5% 0.3 +0.2
Any illicit: 13.8% 17.6 -3.8%

A lot of the smaller ones are too small to be statistically significant and like johnboy said, there may be methodological issues (I haven’t read the whole report so I don’t know how they deal with the issue johnboy raised). However I imagine any issues would be static so while the raw percentages may not be correct, we can still use any changes.

According to this survey, illicit drug use in the ACT is down, not up as this threads headline suggests. Marijuana is down a great deal as is meth (surprisingly).

Alcohol 2007 2004 Change
Daily: 6.6% 9.1%% -2.5%
Weekly: 48.0 47.4 +0.6%
Less than weekly: 33.5 32.6 +0.9%
Ex drinker: 4.7 4.7 0
Never a full serve: 7.1 6.0 +1.1%

Daily alcohol consumption is down while semi regular (weekly and less than weekly) is slightly up. Tee totalism is also up slightly.

It’s hard to draw health implications out of this.

I can’t be bothered doing tobacco.

jakez 2:21 pm 29 Aug 08

For those who want a bit more detail, I’ve pulled out a breakdown of the illicit drug use for ACT by type.

Marijuana/cannabis: 9.1%
Pain Killers/analgesics: 2.0%
Tranquilisers/sleeping pills: 2.0%
Steroids: 0.1%
Barbiturates: 0.2%
Inhalants: 0.6%
Heroin: –
Methadone: 0.1%
Other opiates: 0.1%
Meth/amphetamine: 2.3%
Cocaine: 1.4%
Hallucinogens: 0.8%
Ecstasy: 4.7%
Ketamine: 0.2%
GHB: <0.1%
Injected drugs: 0.5%
Any illicit: 13.8%

Haven’t looked for the previous study yet. It would be interesting to see the changes.

There’s a lot of other interesting stuff in the report as well. For example, almost 80% of Canberrans agree with banning smoking in pubs (I’m really losing that debate it seems), and 68.6% support for medical marijuana across Aus (ACT had the highest support with 72.8%)

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