The epidemiology of ecstasy use and harms in New South Wales, Australia

Degenhardt, Louisa, Roxburgh, Amanda, Dunn, Matthew, Campbell, Gabrielle, Bruno, Raimondo, Kinner, Stuart A., George, Jessica, Quinn, Brendan, White, Nancy and Topp, Libby 2009, The epidemiology of ecstasy use and harms in New South Wales, Australia, Neuropsychobiology, vol. 60, no. 3-4, pp. 176-187.

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Title The epidemiology of ecstasy use and harms in New South Wales, Australia
Author(s) Degenhardt, Louisa
Roxburgh, Amanda
Dunn, MatthewORCID iD for Dunn, Matthew
Campbell, Gabrielle
Bruno, Raimondo
Kinner, Stuart A.
George, Jessica
Quinn, Brendan
White, Nancy
Topp, Libby
Journal name Neuropsychobiology
Volume number 60
Issue number 3-4
Start page 176
End page 187
Total pages 12
Publisher S. Karger AG
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2009-11
ISSN 0302-282X
Keyword(s) ecstasy
Summary 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.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009 S. Karger AG, Basel
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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