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Trends in amphetamine-related harms in Victoria

Cherie Heilbronn, Caroline X Gao, Belinda Lloyd, Karen Smith, David Best and Dan I Lubman
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (6): 395. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10149
Published online: 16 September 2013

To the Editor: In the 21 November 2011 issue of the Journal, Sara and colleagues identified 97 000 Australians as heavy stimulant users,1 and McKetin and Lubman detailed the public health importance of heavy stimulant consumption, emphasising impacts of “ice”(crystal methamphetamine).2 In addition, there has been growing concern over rising ice use in Australia and related harms, including psychosis, stroke and cardiac abnormalities.2 In Victoria, there is evidence of significant increases in ice use among people who inject drugs (from 36% in 2010 to 53% in 2011)3 and regular “ecstasy” (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine; MDMA) users (from 18% in 2010 to 38% in 2011).4 To examine this issue, we conducted an exploratory study using multiple indicators of amphetamine-related harm from July 2010 to June 2012.

  • Cherie Heilbronn1
  • Caroline X Gao1
  • Belinda Lloyd1
  • Karen Smith2
  • David Best1
  • Dan I Lubman1

  • 1 Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre, Eastern Health, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Ambulance Victoria, Melbourne, VIC.


Acknowledgements: 

We thank Ambulance Victoria and its paramedics for entering data and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre staff for coding cases for the Ambo Project. This project is funded by the Victorian Department of Health.

Competing interests:

Dan Lubman has received speaker fees from AstraZeneca and Janssen, and travel support from Lundbeck.

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