The epidemiology of methamphetamine use and harm in Australia

Degenhardt, Louisa, Roxburgh, Amanda, Black, Emma, Bruno, Raimondo, Campbell, Gabrielle, Kinner, Stuart and Featherston, James (2008) The epidemiology of methamphetamine use and harm in Australia. Drug and Alcohol Review, 27 3: 243-252. doi:10.1080/09595230801950572

Author Degenhardt, Louisa
Roxburgh, Amanda
Black, Emma
Bruno, Raimondo
Campbell, Gabrielle
Kinner, Stuart
Featherston, James
Title The epidemiology of methamphetamine use and harm in Australia
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-5236
Publication date 2008-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09595230801950572
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 27
Issue 3
Start page 243
End page 252
Total pages 10
Editor John Saunders
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley- Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Language eng
Subject C1
111706 Epidemiology
920414 Substance Abuse
Abstract Introduction and aims. There has been considerable media attention recently upon possible increases in methamphetamine use in Australia. Much of this debate has focused upon extreme cases of problematic crystal methamphetamine use, without reference to the broader population context. This paper provides data on methamphetamine use in Australia, and documents trends in methamphetamine-related harms. Design and Methods. Data used were from: (1) Australian Customs Service drug detections; (2) Australian Crime Commission drug seizure, arrest and clandestine laboratory detections data; (3) National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) and Australian Secondary Student Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSADS); (4) data from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and related Drug Reporting System (EDRS); and (5) data from NSW Emergency Department Information System, National Hospital Morbidity Database and Australian Bureau of Statistics causes of death databases. Results. There appears to have been an increase in both importation and local manufacture of meth/amphetamine. Population data show that meth/amphetamine use remains low and stable. However, clear increases in crystal methamphetamine use have occurred among sentinel groups of regular drug users. Frequent crystal use among regular injecting drug users is associated with earlier initiation to injecting, greater injection risk behaviours and more extensive criminal activity. In recent years, indicators of meth/amphetamine-related harm have stabilised, following steady increases in earlier years. Discussion and Conclusions. Some methamphetamine users experience significant problems related to their use; harms are particularly prevalent among regular IDU. Methamphetamine users, however, are a diverse group, and strategies need to be appropriately targeted towards different kinds of users.
Keyword drug-related harm
injecting drug use
monitoring systems
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 401761
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 65 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 71 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 26 Mar 2009, 20:13:04 EST by Yvonne Flanagan on behalf of School of Public Health