Mulling over a dangerous brew

Ninety percent of Australian cannabis users over the age of 14 report using alcohol at the same time, despite serious risks in combining the two drugs, according to a review by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW.

Smoking web

Ninety percent of Australian cannabis users over the age of 14 report using alcohol at the same time, despite serious risks in combining the two drugs, according to a review by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW.

New figures, which come from the Australian Secondary School Students' Use of Over-the-Counter and Illicit Substances (2005) and the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2004), also show that over two-thirds (68 percent) of school students who had used cannabis reported using alcohol on the same occasion.

Potential risks of combining the drugs include the negative affect on driver ability and 'greening out' - similar to overdosing.

"There has been increasing community concern about teenage binge drinking, but there appears to have been little discussion about the practice of combining alcohol with other drugs," said Paul Dillon from NDARC. "People appear to mix drugs under the assumption that this practice will increase the perceived positive benefits of each drug taken."

For the full story, go to the NDARC website.