"• There is strong evidence of an association between social determinants—such as unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and family breakdown—and drug use. Socio-economic status has been associated with drug-related harms such as foetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol and other drug disorders, hospital admissions due to diagnoses related to alcoholism, lung cancer, drug overdoses and alcohol-related assault. In the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey the highest prevalence of recent illegal drug use was reported by unemployed people—23.3 per cent compared with 13.4 per cent of the general population. Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among homeless people is common. One study estimated the overall 12-month prevalence of harmful alcohol use for homeless people in Sydney at 41 per cent and the prevalence of drug use at 36 per cent. Family factors—including poor parent–child relationships, family disorganisation, chaos and stress and family conflict and marital discord with verbal, physical or sexual abuse—also have a strong association with drug use. There are a number of strong protective factors that guard against problematic alcohol and other drug use. These include having a job, a stable family life and stable housing. These factors can be important in preventing or overcoming drug-related problems."


Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. The National Drug Strategy 2010–2015: A framework for action on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, p. 6.