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The epidemiology of ecstasy use and harms in Australia


Degenhardt, L and Roxburgh, A and Dunn, M and Campbell, G and Bruno, RB and Kinner, SA and George, J and Quinn, B and White, N and Topp, L, The epidemiology of ecstasy use and harms in Australia, Neuropsychobiology , 60, (3-4) pp. 176-187. ISSN 0302-282X (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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DOI: doi:10.1159/000253553


Aims:This paper examines the epidemiology of ecstasy use and harm in Australia using multiple data sources. Design: The data included (1) Australian Customs Service 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) detections; (2) the National Drug Strategy Household and Australian Secondary Student Alcohol and Drug Surveys; (3) data from Australia's ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System; (4) the number of recorded police incidents for ecstasy possession and distribution collated by the N.S.W. Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research; (5) the number of calls to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service and Family Drug Support relating to ecstasy; (6) the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Dataset on number of treatment episodes for ecstasy, and (7) N.S.W. Division of Analytical Laboratories toxicology data on number of deaths where MDMA was detected. Findings: Recent ecstasy use among adults in the general population has increased, whereas among secondary students it has remained low and stable. The patterns of ecstasy consumption among regular ecstasy users have changed over time. Polydrug use and use for extended periods of time (>48 h) remain common among this group. Frequent ecstasy use is associated with a range of risk behaviours and other problems, which tend to be attributed to a number of drugs along with ecstasy. Few ecstasy users present for treatment for problems related to their ecstasy consumption. Conclusions: Messages and interventions to reduce the risks associated with polydrug use and patterns of extended periods of use are clearly warranted. These messages should be delivered outside of traditional health care settings, as few of these users are engaged with such services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Ecstasy; Australia; 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, RB (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:60036
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2010-01-06
Last Modified:2014-11-27
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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