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Title: Rates and Patterns of Australian Emergency Department Presentations of People Who Use Stimulants: A Systematic Literature Review
Contributor(s): Redona, Peter T JR  (author)orcid ; Woods, Cindy  (author)orcid ; Jackson, Debra  (author); Usher, Kim  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022-10-18
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.7759/cureus.30429
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The use of illicit stimulants continues to pose a significant challenge to different health sectors. In Australia, four particular stimulants, namely amphetamines and their derivatives, methamphetamine, ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and cocaine cause a significant challenge to EDs as managing patients who use stimulants can be labor and resource intensive. While Australian data are available for stimulant-related ambulance attendances and hospitalizations, little is known about ED presentations of people who use stimulants. The aim of this paper is to systematically review the available literature related to the rates and patterns of ED presentations of people who use stimulants in Australia. A search was conducted on EBSCOhost, CINAHL Complete, and PubMed databases, as well as Google Scholar. Search terms consisted of combinations of the following terms: 1) stimulant AND ED AND Australia; 2) stimulants AND emergency presentations OR accident and emergency AND Australia, 3) amphetamine OR methamphetamine OR ecstasy OR cocaine AND ED AND Australia. Articles that met the inclusion criteria were included in the review and subjected to a quality appraisal. Data were extracted from the selected papers, including patient demographics, presentation rates, type of stimulant, reasons for presentations, police or ambulance service involvement, comorbidities, mental health issues, triage codes, admissions, and separations. The results of the review are reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines.

Studies were eligible if they were English-language peer-reviewed articles published between January 2011 and December 2021 and if they included data on Australian ED presentations of people who use non-prescription illicit stimulants. Studies were excluded if they did not include stimulant-related ED presentations or focused on ED presentations related to prescription stimulants, including Ritalin and Adderall, non-stimulant drugs, or caffeine for attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The selected articles were appraised for quality, rigor, and risk of bias by two authors. The studies were assessed using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale (NOS) for cross-sectional, cohort, and case-control studies depending on the methodology identified in the study. A total of 19 articles were included in this study. Males represented 53 to 85% of ED presentations of people who use stimulants with an age range of 0 to 65 and are more likely to be transported by police or ambulance. People who use stimulants presented to EDs with varying psychological and behavioral concerns such as psychosis, self-harm, suicidal ideations, hallucinations, agitations, and aggressiveness, as well as medical conditions, including heart palpitations, nausea and vomiting, and significant physical injuries.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Cureus, 14(10), p. 1-11
Publisher: Cureus Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 2168-8184
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420604 Injury prevention
420311 Health systems
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200302 Community health care
200308 Outpatient care
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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