Health Snapshots

Illicit drugs

From 2007 to 2019, the proportion of young people (14-19 years) in South Australia who reported having ‘used illicit drugs in the previous 12 months’ was highest in 2010 (23%). In 2019, the proportion was 18%, similar to 2007 (18%) and 2013 (19%).

Illicit drugs include illegal drugs such as cannabis, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine. Other categories of illicit drugs include the misuse or non-prescribed use of prescription drugs and the inappropriate use of substances (eg, sniffing glue).

The proportion of secondary school students (12-17 years) in South Australia who reported having ‘ever taken an illicit drug’ decreased from almost 40% in 1996 to 14% in 2017. Young people aged 16 and 17 years are more likely to report having ever taken an illicit drug than those aged 12 to 15 years. The proportion of young women who reported having ever taken an illicit drug is comparable to young men.

Consumption of unhealthy food and drink

Children and young people should have a well-balanced and healthy diet with limited consumption of fast food, snack food, sugar-sweetened (excluding sugar-free or ‘diet’) drinks and flavoured milk. In 2018-19, more than half (54%) of all children and young people in South Australia under 18 years consumed fast food at least once weekly and a third (33%) consumed snack food at least once daily. Young people (10 to 17 years) were more likely to consume fast food and snack foods than children under 10 years, with males under 18 years consuming fast food and snack food at higher rates than females under 18 years. There was no significant difference between the consumption rates in metropolitan Adelaide and regional/rural South Australia for children and young people under 18 years.

On an average day in 2018-19, 15% of children and young people consumed sugar-sweetened beverages and 30% consumed flavoured milk, with 10 to 17 year olds consuming more sugar-sweetened beverages and flavoured milk than children under 10 years. Males under 18 years consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages and flavoured milk than females under 18 years. Children and young people living in metropolitan Adelaide consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages than those in regional/rural South Australia on an average day; however, there was no significant difference for the consumption of flavoured milk.

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  • Overweight or obese
  • Fully immunised 5 year olds
  • Young people immunised against HPV
  • Immunisation
  • Young people smoking
  • Young mothers

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