Design and Methods: Face‐to‐face (595) and online questionnaires (2337) were conducted with 14‐19 year old risky drinkers across Australia, selected to represent the heaviest drinking 20‐25% of this age group. Measures included alcohol and other drug consumption, demographics and alcohol‐related harms. Regression analysis was used to examine the associations between illicit drug use and alcohol‐related harms, during the most recent risky drinking session and over the past 6 months.
Results: Two‐thirds had used an illicit drug in the past 6 months, and one‐quarter during their last risky drinking session. The most commonly used illicit drugs were marijuana and ecstasy. Most had experienced alcohol‐related harms during/after their last risky drinking session, and the number of harms experienced was significantly higher for those who had also consumed illicit drugs.
Discussions and Conclusions: This risky drinking population are using illicit drugs at a substantially higher rate than the general population, regularly consume alcohol and illicit drugs concurrently, and experience high rates of alcohol‐related harms.
Implications for Practice or Policy: This at risk population may benefit from specific health promotion strategies targeting poly‐drug and aiming to reduce alcohol‐related harms.