Key findings from the 2014 IDRS: a survey of people who inject drugs

Image: Illicit Drug Reporting System logo
Author: Jennifer Stafford, Lucy Burns

Resource Type: Drug Trends Bulletins

Key findings
  • Heroin remained the most commonly reported drug of choice.
  • Recent heroin use remained stable and frequency of use increased (however this was not significant). The availability of heroin was ‘very easy’ and purity ‘low’.
  • The recent use of any methamphatmine remained stable. However, the recent use of the form ice/crystal increased significantly.
  • The frequency of ice/crystal use (days of use) also significantly increased. All forms were considered ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’ to obtain. Ice/crystal was reported as ‘high’ in purity, while speed powder and base were ‘medium’.
  • NSW remained the only jurisdiction where sizeable numbers of participants were able to comment on cocaine. Recent use and frequency of cocaine in NSW was stable. Price remained stable. Availability was reported as ‘easy’ and purity as ‘medium’.
  • The recent use of cannabis remained stable, however the frequency of use significantly decreased from daily to every second day. Hydroponic cannabis dominated the market.
  • Extra-medical use and injection of pharmaceutical preparations continued to occur, with jurisdictional differences in patterns observed.
  • Sharing of injecting equipment was common. Nearly half of the participants re-used their own needles in the last month.
  • Over one-third of the national sample selfreported a mental health problem in the last six months. Mainly depression, followed by anxiety.
  • Over one-third of the national sample reported a criminal activity in the last month, mainly drug dealing or property crime. Around one-third had been arrested in the last year.