IDRS Bulletin December 2009: Examining differences between younger and older injecting drug users in the 2009 IDRS

Key findings

  • Younger participants were more likely to be female and have been in drug treatment for less than twelve months whilst older participants were more likely to have a prison history.
  • Younger participants reported initiating injecting earlier than older participants.
  • Patterns of drug use were similar, although younger participants were more likely to have ever used the more potent forms of methamphetamine, base and ice.
  • Frequency of drug use was similar among the younger and older IDU, though younger participants reported using cannabis more frequently than older participants.
  • Younger participants were more likely to report engaging in risk behaviours and harm associated with their drug use.
  • Younger participants were also more likely to report a lifetime diagnosis of asthma, while older participants were more likely to report arthritis.