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Experiences of health professionals managing people presenting to emergency departments after taking Ice


Usher, K and Cleary, M and Kornhaber, R and Woods, C, Experiences of health professionals managing people presenting to emergency departments after taking Ice, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 25 - 27 October, 2016, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 51. ISSN 1445-8330 (2016) [Conference Extract]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/inm.12771


Since the mid-2000s, crystal methamphetamine, also known as ‘Ice’ has received significant attention by the Australian media, naming the problem as an epidemic. 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, the impact on emergency services and police services, particularly homicides, and aggressive and violent crimes. The Prime Minister of Australia recently announced the formation of a task force to coordinate a national response to the ’Ice’ epidemic. Presentations to hospitals where methamphetamines are the principal drug of concern are increasing and methamphetamine use was related to psychiatric disorders ranging from auditory hallucinations, paranoia, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation and psychosis. In this paper we report on the experiences of health professionals who have managed one or more persons presenting to an Emergency Department (ED) after taking crystal methamphetamine.

Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio recorded and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings provide insights as to how front-line health professionals in EDs have been affected by patients presenting after taking ’Ice’, and how they manage these patients. It is vital to understand how health professionals are coping with patients intoxicated with ‘Ice’ and whether there is a need for additional mental health education and support for front-line responders.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Ice, mental health, emergency departments
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
UTAS Author:Kornhaber, R (Dr Rachel Kornhaber)
ID Code:112223
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-10-31
Last Modified:2016-10-31

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