Illicit drug use hits a new high: 38%

Ecstasy is more popular than ever before, with new research showing one in five Australians in their early 20s has used the party drug, making it more prevalent in Australia than in any other English-speaking country.

The good news is it reveals our smoking rates have gone down considerably, giving us the fewest number of daily smokers of all the countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

But the same research raises concerns about binge-drinking among young women, showing teenage girls are out-drinking boys of the same age, putting themselves at risk of harm in the long and short term.

More than a third of Australians – 38 per cent – have used an illicit drug, most commonly marijuana, which one in three people have used at some stage.

But regular marijuana use is at a 13-year-low, with only 11 per cent of the population having used it recently, and ecstasy has picked up the slack. Use of the “party drug” is at a 13-year high, with 3 per cent of Australians having used it recently.

Thirteen per cent of the age group had used ecstasy recently, and 11 per cent of them had used methamphetamines recently. Overall, Australians used more speed, ecstasy and marijuana than people in Britain, the US and New Zealand. The Irish were equal to Australians in their use of ecstasy, but not the other drugs.

Well, I guess someone has to say it.