Misuse of pharmaceuticals by regular psychostimulant users: are there mental health problems?

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Author: Caroline Salom and Rosa Alati

Resource Type: Drug Trends Bulletins

Key findings
  • ƒƒExtra-medical or illicit use of pharmaceutical substances was examined among regular psychostimulant users (RPU) interviewed in 2015 for the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS; n=763)
  • ƒƒIllicit use of pharmaceutical substances is common among regular psychostimulant users and far higher than in the general Australian population
  • ƒƒFew of the RPU in 2015 cited pharmaceuticals as their drug of choice (5%) or the drug used most often in the last month (4%)
  • ƒƒThe pharmaceutical substances most commonly used over the previous six months were stimulants, benzodiazepines and over the counter codeine preparations
  • ƒƒPharmaceuticals were used less frequently than ecstasy: most use was monthly or less often
  • ƒƒGreater psychological distress was reported by those who had recently used stimulants, codeine, opioids and benzodiazepines
  • ƒƒRecent users of OTC codeine, opioids and antipsychotics were more likely to self-report a mental health problem