Violent behaviour has been one of the hallmark features of amphetamine
and methamphetamine use epidemics, but a causal link remains tenuous. This seminar will overview the findings of a recent global systematic review and meta-analysis on the relationship between violence and the use of amphetamines.
We conducted a systematic review of studies on the relationship between the use of amphetamines and violence from 1950 to 2017. Of 939 identified studies 29 were eligible and 12 were included in the meta-analysis. Any use of amphetamines was associated with 2.2 times the odds of violence, but the pooled association was attenuated (OR 1.4) and non-significant in studies that adjusted for demographics, premorbid risk and other substance use. Despite this, more recent well-controlled longitudinal studies have found an association between the use of amphetamines and both violent behaviour and violent crime. These studies will be discussed in detail.
A/Prof McKetin (BSc(Psychol)Hons. PhD) leads a program of research into stimulant use epidemiology and interventions at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. She has published over 150 research articles in this area and her current work includes developing and trialling new treatment approaches for stimulant use, including online self-help and new medications. Her research has included estimating the number of people dependent on methamphetamine in Australia and evaluating community-based treatments for methamphetamine use. She has recently reviewed the literature on mental health outcomes for people who use amphetamines, and the broader evidence base for responding to the global stimulant situation, data from which will feature in this talk.