Drug and alcohol use and offending

Detainees who tested positive to illicit drugs at time of detention by most serious offence and drug type, 2012-2016 (%)

Notes: Totals will not add to 100 percent as detainees could test positive for more than one drug. For total number of detainees who provided urine samples per year by most serious offence see Appendix Table 3.

Eighty-four percent (n=169) of detainees whose most serious offence (MSO) was a property offence, 81 percent (n=88) of detainees with a drug MSO and 74 percent (n=246) of detainees with a violent MSO tested positive to any drug at the time of detention in 2016.

Self-reported contribution of alcohol and other drug use to offending by most serious offence and substance type, 2012-2016 (%)

Notes: Detainees may have attributed more than one substance to their current offending.

The proportion of detainees who attributed methamphetamine use to their violent offending increased from 12 (n=81) to 22 percent (n=146) between 2012 and 2016. The proportion who attributed the violent offence to their use of alcohol decreased, from 30 (n=203) to 19 (n=130) percent

Very few detainees attributed their offending to their use of cannabis. The largest proportion in 2016 was 11 percent (n=48) of detainees with a property MSO.

Self-reported contribution of drug use to offending by drug type and reason, 2012-2016 (%)

Notes: Detainees may have attributed more than one reason to their offending.

Being high was the most common reason detainees gave as to how their drug use contributed to the offence for which they were detained.

Detainees who reported using heroin were the most likely to report committing an offence because they needed money for drugs (22%; n=17).