eCite Digital Repository

Trends in treatment episodes for methamphetamine smoking and injecting in Australia, 2003-2019


McKetin, R and Chrzanowska, A and Man, N and Peacock, A and Sutherland, R and Degenhardt, L, Trends in treatment episodes for methamphetamine smoking and injecting in Australia, 2003-2019, Drug and Alcohol Review pp. 1-6. ISSN 0959-5236 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

DOI: doi:10.1111/dar.13258


Introduction: We examined trends in Australian treatment episodes for smoking and injecting methamphetamine from 2003 to 2019.

Methods: Data from the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment National Minimum Data Set, where amphetamines were the principal drug of concern, were analysed from 2003 to 2019. Rates were calculated per 100 000 population aged 10-100 years. Joinpoint software was used to identify changepoints and estimate the annual percentage change (APC) in the rate of treatment episodes. Treatment episode characteristics were compared for smoking versus injecting in 2019.

Results: The rate of treatment episodes for methamphetamine increased from 77 to 262 per 100 000 population between 2003 and 2019 (average APC 8%, P < 0.001), this being due to treatment episodes for smoking methamphetamine (average APC 32%, P < 0.001) with no significant increase in treatment episodes for injecting methamphetamine (average APC 3%). Treatment episodes for smoking increased sharply from 2003 to 2008 (APC 72%, P < 0.001) and again from 2010 to 2016 (APC 46%, P < 0.001), this upward trend being attenuated between 2016 and 2019 (APC 7%, P = 0.012). Treatment episodes for methamphetamine smoking (cf. injecting) involved younger clients (median age 30 vs. 35 years, P < 0.001) who were more likely to receive assessment or case management only (37% vs. 29%, P < 0.001).

Discussion and conclusions: Increased methamphetamine treatment episodes in Australia since 2003 are due mostly to smoking the drug, this occurring among younger cohort who receive less substantive treatment than clients who inject methamphetamine.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:methamphetamine, treatment, Australia, smoking, injecting
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Psychopharmacology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Substance abuse
UTAS Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
ID Code:146656
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-09-21
Last Modified:2021-10-13

Repository Staff Only: item control page