Australian Institute of Criminology

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Age of illicit drug initiation

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 201

Doug Johnson
ISBN 0 642 24222 4 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, March 2001


Information is provided on the question of age of drug use initiation and relevant policy implications by examining four recent drug use studies. Data is taken from the 1998 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, the 1999 Illicit Drug Reporting System, the 1999 Drug Use Monitoring in Australia project and the 1998 Illicit Drugs and Property Crime Survey. The findings show that those who use drugs and commit crime are likely to have started using drugs earlier than drug users who do not have criminal careers.