IDRS Bulletin December 2010: The health and wellbeing of a group of Tasmanian regular injecting drug users

Key findings

  • Participants in the 2010 Tasmanian IDRS experienced higher levels of self-reported mental health problems and psychological distress, and poorer physical wellbeing and quality of life than the Australian general population
  • A ‘poor health’ group was apparent in this sample, experiencing mental health problems and/or poor physical health. This sub-group were more likely to be female and less likely to have been arrested in the preceding 12 months than the other participating injecting drug users (IDU)
  • Those in the poorer health group were no more likely to be involved in drug treatment, but were more likely to have recently used diverted methadone syrup and more frequently injected diverted benzodiazepines than participants in the better health group.
  • IDU in the poor health group were also more likely to have attended a GP in the preceding 12 months. This group also reported significantly poorer quality of life than both IDU participants in the better health group and the Australian general population