EDRS Bulletin July 2009: Methamphetamine use and associated risks amongst regular ecstasy users in the ACT and nationally

Key findings

  • Methamphetamine use decreased amongst the national sample of regular ecstasy users (REU) over the past three years.
  • With respect to the ACT, although, methamphetamine use is still relatively low there has been a recent increase in median days of use.
  • One-third of the national sample of REU reported bingeing on any drug. ‘Bingeing’ was defined as the use of a drug on a continuous basis for more than 48 hours without sleep. Of those who had recently binged, over one third reported using powder methamphetamine (speed) and over a quarter reported using crystal methamphetamine (ice/crystal) during their most recent binge.
  • Using methamphetamine in conjunction with ecstasy use was relatively low amongst both the national and ACT REU samples.
  • Eighty percent of recent methamphetamine users in the ACT REU sample scored eight or higher in the AUDIT indicating hazardous and harmful alcohol use.
  • Nationally a larger proportion of REU who had recently used methamphetamine reported ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress compared to those who had not recently used these substances.The rate of amphetamine related hospital admissions remained stable in the ACT.
  • There was an increase in methamphetamine related arrests in the ACT.