The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) has shared data from its 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey and it shows that Australians are warming up to pill testing. It’s been a controversial conversation in Australia for more than a hot minute now.
The survey questioned 22,274 Australians on their habits and thoughts around smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use. Interestingly, the survey asked respondents about pill testing, for the first time ever.
The survey found that more than half of the respondents, 57 per cent, support pill testing at designated sites. While one in four respondents, 27 per cent, were opposed to pill testing.
Survey respondents aged between 14 and 39 were more likely to support testing than those aged 40 and up.
Meanwhile, just less than half (47%) of Australians support the idea of supervised drug consumption rooms or facilities and one in three, 32 per cent, were opposed.
Interestingly, 41 per cent of Australians also support the legalisation of weed, which is up six per cent from 2016’s survey.
As well as that, the survey revealed an increase in use of cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, hallucinogens, inhalants, and ketamine.
“In 2019, more than 43%, or 9 million, Australians aged 14 and over had illicitly used a drug at some point in their lifetime and 3.4 million (or 16.4%) had used one in the past 12 months,” said AIHW’s spokesperson Dr. Gabrielle Phillips.