National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Australia's key alcohol-related datasets

3. Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSADS)

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3.1 Data Custodian: Cancer Council of Victoria.

3.2 Purpose: A national survey of the prevalence and patterns of tobacco, alcohol and other drug consumption among Australian secondary school students.

3.3 Methodology: Random sample of students enrolled in randomly selected schools across all Australian States and Territories.

3.4 Frequency: Triennial.

3.5 Date commenced: 1984; most recent: 2008.

3.6 Participation: Most recent (2008) - 24,408 secondary school students age 12-17 years.

3.7 Strengths: Has been active for a long period of time (since 1984) and provides comprehensive data on types of alcohol and drugs used, patterns and prevalence of alcohol and other drug consumption and settings of use. Data collected in-person by research staff at schools. Consistency of questions between survey waves.

3.8 Limitations: Significant increase in students completing high school since the survey started impacting on trends in 16-17 year olds. Potential impact of teachers being present whilst surveys were being completed. Patterns of current drinking restricted to past 7 days. Cut points set in measures of risky drinking restrict comparability with other sources of data.

3.9 Recent publications: White, V. & Smith, G. (2009). Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over the counter and illicit drugs in 2008. Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Control Research Institute, Cancer Council of Victoria, Melbourne.

Livingstone, M. (2008). Recent trends in risky alcohol consumption and related harm among young people in Victoria, Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 32(3): 266-271

Scully, M., Dixon, H., White, V. & Backmann, K. (2007). Dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Australian secondary students in 2005. Health Promotion International, 22(3): 236-245.

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