Alcohol and other drugs

Alcohol and other drugs misuse is widely associated with suicide in Australia and internationally, especially among young adults. In Australia, studies of alcohol consumption indicate that 13.4% of the population consumes enough to be classified in the risky/high risk categories (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004-05).

In 2004 38% of Australians surveyed admitted to using an illicit drug during their lifetime, and 15% admitted to using in the past 12 months. Further, in June 2008, there were 41,347 people registered for pharmacotherapy treatment of opioid dependence, and two-thirds were male (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2009). 

Studies have estimated that if the three disorders most associated with suicide-related behaviours (ie. depression, alcohol/drug/substance abuse disorders and schizophrenia) were treated in 50% of all people with these conditions, suicides would be reduced by approximately 20% (Bertolote et al., 2004).

Increased use of alcohol or other drugs may be considered as a warning sign for suicide and is more common among people who are considering taking their own life. In 2006, 34% of all people who completed suicide had substance misuse problems (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007).  

For more information and resources, try the following:

  • Conduct a library search using the keyword 'drug and alcohol'
  • Read LIFE News issue 5: alcohol and other drugs
  • Go to the alcohol and other drugs links

Key organisations

The following are some of the organisations specialising in alcohol and other drugs in Australia.


Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)
ADCA is the national peak non-government organisation representing the interests of the Australian alcohol and other drugs sector, providing a national voice for people working to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs.

Australian Drug Foundation (ADF)
The ADF is a national body that seeks to prevent alcohol and other drug misuse within the community by providing information networks and utlising networks within the community and government.

Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)
ANCD is the principal advisory body to Government on drug policy and plays a critical role in ensuring the voice of the community is heard in relation to drug related policies and strategies.

The Australian Drug Information Network (ADIN)
The ADIN provides a central point of access to quality Internet-based alcohol and drug information provided by organisations in Australia and internationally.

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA)
The NCETA is a research centre that works as a catalyst for change in the alcohol and other drugs field.

State and Territories

The Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA)
The NADA is the peak organisation for the non government drug and alcohol sector in NSW.

Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (QNADA)
The QNADA is the peak organisation for the non-government alcohol and drugs sector throughout Queensland.

Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA)
VAADA is the peak organisation representing the non government sector in Victoria.

Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (WANDANA)
WANADA is the peak body for the alcohol and other drug sector in Western Australia.