Victorian Drug Trends 2009: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)

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Author: D. Horyniak, P.Dietze, P. McElwee

Resource Type: Drug Trends Jurisdictional Reports

The Centre for Population Health (CPH) at the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health conducted the Melbourne arm of the 2009 IDRS study between June and September 2009. The project consisted of:

  1. a structured survey of 150 current IDU recruited from a number of sites across the metropolitan Melbourne area;
  2. semi-structured interviews with 30 KE from a variety of professional settings, selected according to their knowledge about illicit drug use, and level of contact with illicit drug users during the six months preceding the survey; and
  3. analysis of secondary indicator data.

Data collected via these three methods were analysed in order to identify illicit drugrelated trends in Melbourne for the 2008/2009 financial year. Where appropriate, these data were also compared to findings from the 1997-2008 IDRS studies.

Key changes detected in the 2009 IDRS were:

  • A greater percentage of participants reported methamphetamine to be their drug of choice compared with 2008 (20% compared with 11%, respectively) which may explain the decrease in frequency of heroin use reported by the 2009 sample.
  • Differing patterns of use of the three main types of amphetamines were noted, with speed use remaining stable, crystal methamphetamine use continuing to decline, and base use increasing following two years of decline.
  • A significant decrease in the percentage of participants reporting daily cannabis use compared with the 2008 sample.
  • Changing patterns of benzodiazepine use, with reports of recent benzodiazepine use at the highest level since the withdrawal of Temazepam gel capsules from the market in 2004.