IDRS Bulletin October 2009: An overview of the 2009 IDRS

Key findings

  • Heroin remained the most commonly reported drug of choice for injecting drug user (IDU) participants, and reports of use have remained stable since 2006. There remain large jurisdictional differences in markets (price, purity and availability) and use patterns of heroin.
  • Use of any form of methamphetamine (speed, base and ice/crystal) varied across the jurisdictions. Nationally, frequency of use among users of any form of methamphetamine (speed, base and/or ice/crystal), including the proportion of daily users, remained stable. Again, as with the majority of drugs investigated by the IDRS, jurisdictional variations were seen in both prevalence and frequency of use. Methamphetamine remained readily available to this group and reports on price and perceived purity varied by jurisdiction.
  • NSW remained the only jurisdiction where sizeable numbers of participants reported recent cocaine use and were able to provide information on price, purity and availability. Use of cocaine in Sydney, NSW was stable, while the frequency of use was higher. In other jurisdictions it remained low and sporadic.
  • The cannabis market (price, perceived potency and availability) remained stable. The use of cannabis by participants remained common and frequency of use among users remained high, usually daily or near-daily.
  • Extra-medical use and injection of pharmaceutical preparations continued to occur, with jurisdictional differences in patterns of use observed.