Drug injection trends among participants in the Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey, 2007-2011

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Author: Brenda Currie, Jenny Iversen, Lisa Maher

Resource Type: Drug Trends Bulletins

Key findings

  • Heroin was the most commonly reported drug last injected in all years 2007 to 2011 and accounted for approximately one third of respondents in each of the survey years. Heroin was the most common drug last injected in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria in all years 2007 to 2011.
  • Methamphetamine was the second most commonly reported drug last injected in all years 2007 to 2011 with prevalence ranging from 24% to 30%. Methamphetamine was the most common drug last injected in Queensland in all years 2007 to 2011.
  • Pharmaceutical opioids were the third most commonly reported class of drugs last injected in all of the past five years, with prevalence stable at between 14% and 16%. In the Northern Territory pharmaceutical opioids were the most commonly reported drug last injected during the period 2007 to 2011, significantly higher than any other jurisdiction.
  • Over the period 2007 to 2011, the proportion of respondents reporting daily or more frequent injecting in the month prior to the survey remained stable at between 47% and 50%.
  • HCV antibody prevalence declined significantly over the period, from 62% in 2007 to 53% in 2011, with the decline evident among both men (61% to 54%) and women (64% to 52%).
  • Between 2007 and 2011 HIV antibody prevalence remained low at 1.5% or less nationally and at 2.5% or less in all states and territories.