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Burnet research shows Australia is biggest user of marijuana

Burnet Institute

09 January, 2012

The first paper in The Lancet Addiction series estimates one in 20 people worldwide aged 15-64 years old use illicit drugs.

Research published in The Lancet by Burnet Institute’s Professor Louisa Degenhardt has revealed Australia and New Zealand are the biggest users of marijuana and speed in the world.

This is the first of a three-paper focusing on addiction series in The Lancet addressing the global burden of disease due to illicit drug use.

The research found around 200 million people using illicit drugs each year, with high-income countries the biggest users. Disease burden related to drugs appeared similar to that caused by alcohol in these countries.

Professor Degenhardt who has since left Burnet and is now based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales teamed up with Professor Wayne Hall for the paper.

In 2009 it was reported 9.3 to 14.8 percent of people in Australia and New Zealand used marijuana in the past year, compared with 1.2 to 2.5 percent in Asia.

“There are some countries with similar use to Australia, but combined with other countries in their region their average decreases,” Professor Degenhardt told the Sydney Morning Herald.

CLICK HERE to watch an interview with Professor Degenhardt on ABC TV News.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Burnet Institute

communications@burnet.edu.au

Telephone

+61392822111

Email

communications@burnet.edu.au

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