Australia is a stable, multicultural, and democratic society with a strong economy, and a population of 21 million (2008). The federal government determines the national approach to illicit drugs, but services and programs are implemented at a state level. Since 1985 Australia has had a documented strategy addressing alcohol and illicit drugs.

The first of these, the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (1985–98) set out the basic principles for Australia's drug policy approach, and these have been subsequently followed in later Australian national drug strategies. There are five main features to Australia's approach to drug policy: (1) harm minimization, (2) comprehensiveness, (3) partnerships, (4) balance, and (5) evidence-based policy and a commitment to evaluation.

Data from household surveys conducted every three years and from surveys of targeted ...

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