Substance use in Australia

  • Over 12% of people aged 16-24 in Australia are estimated to engage in problematic substance use. This affects more young men (16%) than women (10%).
  • A high number of people engaging in problematic substance use, also live with a mental health condition:
    – 20% have a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar
    – An estimated 30% also live with an anxiety disorder

Through decades of work with young people, we’ve learned that problematic substance use is part of a much larger picture for young people. While problematic use of alcohol or other drugs may force a young person through the doors of one of our partner organisations, we know they are often also challenged by a ‘perfect storm’ of factors which could include a mental health condition, previous trauma, unstable home life, living rough or an inability to attend school or find work. These are just some of the areas in which young people are experiencing disadvantage, where alcohol and drug use can become a coping mechanism.

Our approach is to work with each young person, meeting them where they are in their journey to understand the unique stress and pressures in their lives that drive them to negatively use alcohol and other drugs. Only through this understanding can we begin to support them towards a long term plan to overcome their misuse and contribute positively to themselves and their community.

The money you raise could help in any of the following ways (and plenty more):

How $36 can help

Your fundraising will directly help our partner organisations work with thousands of young Australians towards a healthier, more positive future.