DRUG USE WORSE THAN REVEALED
A STUDY by Curtin University estimates illicit drug use in Australia could be double the reported rates. Previous studies showed 12.2 per cent of Australians used marijuana, 3.2 per cent used amphetamines and 1.3 per cent used cocaine. But researcher Mark Harris said rates were more like 23 per cent, 8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. “Many people will have incentives to under-report their consumption, including a fear of being caught, stigma and moral concerns, so it’s not sensible to look at raw numbers and assume they accurately represent what’s going on in the population,” he said. “Chances that a user would misreport participation is 65 per cent for cocaine, 31 per cent for marijuana and 17 per cent for amphetamines.” If the new figures are correct it is likely to correlate to increased anti-social behaviour, crime and domestic violence. Little wonder people are calling for more police.
– editor Rick Lee