"In 2016, the non‑medical use of pain‑killers/pain‑relievers and opioids (referred to as pain‑killers and opioids) were the second most common illicitly used drug in the previous 12 months, behind cannabis. However, in 2019, they were the fourth most common, after cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy (Table 4.6).

"From 2016 to 2019, the proportion of people using pain‑killers and opioids non‑medically in the previous week, month, 12 months and in their lifetime declined (Figure 5.1).

"Use remained stable or declined across all age groups between 2016 and 2019. The decline was most pronounced among young people aged 14–19, who in 2019 were half as likely to have used pain‑killers and opioids non‑medically in their lifetime as 14–19 year olds in 2016, and only a third as likely to have done so in the previous 12 months (tables 5.4 and 5.5)."


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019. Drug Statistics series no. 32. PHE 270. Canberra AIHW.