Skip to content

Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis are the substances most frequently used by young people1. Common alcohol and drug related health problems experienced by young people are road traffic injuries, assault, depression and self-harm, brain damage, overdose and blood borne disease (e.g. hepatitis C)2. These adverse health outcomes or injuries place a burden on communities and the health system. Young males have significantly higher rates of alcohol and drug use and related injuries than females3.

In addition to the initial injury or problem, young people admitted to hospital for alcohol or other drug related injuries also have higher suicide risk than their peers4. Further, though not all alcohol and drug related injuries are experienced by people with a substance use disorder, it is reasonable to assume that a substantial portion are. Thus, it is relevant to note that substance use disorders are among the most common mental health disorders experienced by young people in Australia and the fourth highest contributor to the burden of disease in this age group 4,5.

There is evidence that substance abuse can be reduced by addressing relevant risk factors such as early exposure to a substance or poor mental health, and by increasing protective factors such as early patterns of healthy behaviours7,8. Being able to understand patterns of injury related to drug and alcohol use according to geographical area therefore has the advantage of allowing policy makers and service providers to make informed choices about targeted interventions to improve outcomes. Using this data alongside other social information (such an unemployment and income) could be especially important as a range of social factors are risk factors associated with alcohol and drug abuse8.

REFERENCES

  1. White V, Bariola E. Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the counter and illicit substances in 2011. Cancer Council of Victoria, 2012 [cited 2018 May 23]. Available from: http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au/internet/drugstrategy/Publishing.nsf/content/BCBF6B2C638E1202CA257ACD0020E35C/$File/National%20Report_FINAL_ASSAD_7.12.pdf
  2. Department of Health, Western Australia. Injury prevention in Western Australia: A Review of state-wide activity for Selected Injury Areas. Perth; Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate. 2015 [cited 2018 May 23]. Available from: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Reports-and-publications/Injury-Prevention-in-Western-Australia-A-Review-of-Statewide-Activity-for-Selected-Injury-Areas
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [Internet]. Canberra ACT. Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing, 2011. Cat. no. PHE 140. [cited 2018 May 23]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/young-australians-their-health-and-wellbeing-2011/contents/table-of-contents
  4. Kmietowicz Z. Young people with injuries from alcohol, drugs, or violence show increased suicide risk. British Medical Journal, 2017; 357. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2589
  5. Gore F, Bloem J, Patton G, Ferguson J, Joseph V, Coffey C, et al. Global burden of disease in young people aged 10-24 years: A systematic analysis. The Lancet, 2011; 377(9783): 2093-2102. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60512-6
  6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [Internet]. Canberra ACT. Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. [cited 2018 May 29]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/impact-alcohol-illicit-drug-use-on-burden-disease/contents/table-of-contents
  7. Bränström R, Sjöström E, Andréasson S. Individual, group and community risk and protective factors for alcohol and drug use among Swedish adolescents. European Journal of Public Health, 2007; 18(1):12-8. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckm038
  8. Hawkins JD, Catalano RF, Miller JY. Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 1992; 112(1):64. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.64

Data Source 

Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, Emergency Department Data Collection

Numerator

Number of injury admissions related to alcohol and other drugs from population aged 0-18 years

Denominator 

Population aged 0-18 years

Unit of Measure 

Per 10,000 population

Geography

SA2, SA3, LGA

Data Confidentiality

Areas with count values 1 to 4 and where population is less than 50 have been supressed.

Notes 

Emergency Department data only available from 2002 onwards.

Includes individuals presenting to public and private hospitals only. GP records and untreated injuries not included.

Alcohol and other drug related injuries were identified using the following ICD classification codes:

ICD-9 Codes

ICD-10 Codes

305.0

291

303

357.5

425.5

535.3

571.0

571.1

571.2

571.3

760.71

790.3

E860

E950.9

V57.89

V57.9

V65.42

V79.1

V70.4

V11.3

V15.9

255 AND E860

255 AND 305.0

255 AND 303

331.7 AND 303

359.4 AND E860

577.0 AND E860

577.1 AND E860

655.4 AND E860

655.4 AND 303

E980.5 AND 303

E980.5 AND 305.0

E980.9 AND 303

E980.9 AND 305.0

E24.4

F10

G31.2

G62.1

G72.1

I42.1

K29.2

K70

K85.2

K86.0

O35.4

P04.3

Q86.0

R78.0

T50.6

T51

X45

X65

Y15

Y90

Z50.2

Z71.4

Z72.1

G40.5

Z04.0

Z86.4