Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/56043
Title: Crystal methamphetamine's impact on frontline emergency services in Victoria, Australia
Contributor(s): Jones, Rikki  (author)orcid ; Usher, Kim  (author)orcid ; Woods, Cindy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019-12
Early Online Version: 2019-08-17
DOI: 10.1016/j.auec.2019.07.004
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/56043
Abstract: 

Background: The use of crystal methamphetamine is a growing problem in Australia. Methamphetamine users can suffer adverse physical health effects, psychotic symptoms and methamphetamine-related aggressive behaviour. The increasing use and related harms of crystal methamphetamine is presenting serious problems for frontline emergency responders.

Methods: A population-based retrospective analysis was undertaken of data collected by Ambulance Victoria describing crystal methamphetamine related events attended by ambulance across Victoria over six financial years from 2011/12 to 2016/17.

Results: Methamphetamine-related events attended by Victoria Ambulance paramedics significantly increased from 2011/12 to 2016/17, particularly in regional Victoria. The most frequent age group requiring ambulance attendance is 25–39 years. The proportion of events requiring police coattendance significantly increased, as did transportation to emergency department/hospital.

Conclusion: The substantial increases in methamphetamine-related events attended by ambulance indicate the need for increased resources and support for paramedics, particularly in regional/rural areas. The large increase among young people aged 15–24 years indicates a need for policy action on prevention, harm reduction and expanded treatment services to reduce health problems and methamphetamine-related harms.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australasian Emergency Care, 22(4), p. 201-205
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2588-994X
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200413 Substance abuse
200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health

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