Estimating the number of regular and dependent methamphetamine users in Australia, 2002–2014

Paul M Dietze, Brendan Quinn and Caitlin Hughes
Med J Aust 2016; 205 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00795
Published online: 7 November 2016

Estimating the prevalence of illicit drug use is difficult, but reliable estimates are required to understand community needs and inform associated policy and practice.1 Degenhardt and colleagues2 published recent estimates of the prevalence of regular (greater than or equal to monthly use in the past 6 months) and dependent (greater than three on the Severity of Dependence Scale) methamphetamine use in Australia, where the headline figures were an estimated 268 000 and 160 000 regular and dependent methamphetamine users respectively in the 2013–14 financial year.

  • Paul M Dietze1
  • Brendan Quinn1
  • Caitlin Hughes2

  • 1 Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW



We thank the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for providing Victorian treatment data from the Alcohol and Drug Information System. We also thank Rebecca Jenkinson, Nick Scott, Jenny Chalmers and John Fitzgerald for their input as authors of previous versions of this submission.

Competing interests:

Dietze has received funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Reckitt Benckiser for work unrelated to this study, and he is the recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship. Quinn is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. The Burnet Institute has received funding through the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Scheme. These funders were not involved in the work.


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