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Title: Editorial: Is there an ice epidemic in Australia?
Contributor(s): Usher, Kim  (author)orcid ; Clough, Alan (author); Woods, Cindy  (author)orcid ; Robertson, Jan (author)
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1111/inm.12155
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Abstract: Since the mid-2000s 'ice' (crystal methamphetamine) has received significant attention by the Australian media who appear responsible for naming the 'ice' problem as an epidemic (Fife-Yeomans et al. 2006). Media reports related to 'ice' continue to occur regularly on television and in the press with emphasis on issues such as ease of access to the drug, reduced costs (Lee 2015), the impact on emergency services (Fulde & Forster 2015), and police services, particularly homicides, motor vehicle accidents and aggressive and violent crimes (Buttler 2014; Conifer& Greene 2015). Sensational headlines such as: 'crystal meth menace'; 'tide of evil'; 'deadly ice scourge' and 'the icy grip of creeping death', have contributed to alarming perceptions of the size of the problem. Earlier this year the Premier of the state of Victoria stated, based on the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, that there were 80 000 ice users in his jurisdiction. However, based on the same information, the total number of crystal methamphetamine users is said to be more likely closer to 40 000 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2015). The Prime Minister of Australia recently announced the formation of a task force to coordinate a national response to the 'drug epidemic way beyond anything we have seen before' (Conifer & Greene 2015). Given the potential seriousness of this problem (Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee 2014), to question whether the media and politicians, including our 'leader', are using the terms 'ice' and 'epidemic' in a precise manner would seem pedantic. However, the question needs to be addressed, beginning with the recognition that crystalline methamphetamine represents a much purer form of methamphetamine, with more severe consequences for both users and service providers (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014). The rapid spread of the use of the terms 'ice' warrants investigation.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24(4), p. 283-285
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1447-0349
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 111005 Mental Health Nursing
111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420403 Psychosocial aspects of childbirth and perinatal mental health
420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920401 Behaviour and Health
920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200401 Behaviour and health
210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander determinants of health
HERDC Category Description: C4 Letter of Note
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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