Government of Western Australia Drug and Alcohol Office

Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug survey

2011 Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey

About the survey

The ASSAD survey provides information on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal and legal (for non-medical purposes) drugs in 12 to 17 year olds, and their attitudes toward these substances.

Information collected from the survey is used by policy makers and researchers to better understand drug and alcohol-related issues in our schools. It also helps to identify the groups of young people we need to reach with our campaigns and programs.

Conducted every three years, the original survey only measured alcohol and tobacco use, with questions about drug-use added to the survey in 1996.

Nationally, the survey is coordinated by Cancer Council Victoria's Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer (CBRC) who prepare a report outlining the national results for the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and the National Drug Strategy. The survey is partially funded by the CBRC, state health departments, state cancer councils and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

The Drug and Alcohol Office manages the Western part of the survey in collaboration with the Tobacco Control Branch of the Deparment of Health, the Department of Education, the Catholic Education Commission and the Association of Independent Schools. Each state and territory is responsible for reporting their jurisdictional results.

Who participates in the survey?

ASSAD survey participants are a representative sample of school students from years 7 to 12 with up to 80 students surveyed from each school. School participation is voluntary and consent is at the discretion of the school principal. Parents are also given an opportunity to determine their child's participation.

Students answer the questions anonymously and they choose whether or not they want to participate. No student can be identified through their survey results.

The most recent ASSAD survey was completed in 2011 by 3,771 Western Australian students, including approximately 600 students from schools in regional areas. Students come from a mix of government, Catholic and independent schools.

Previous reports and bulletins

Last updated on 03 November 2014