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Investigating differences between drugs used in the Australian night-time economy: demographics, substance use, and harm

Version 2 2024-06-03, 09:35
Version 1 2016-09-28, 09:35
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 09:35 authored by A Pennay, R Jenkinson, B Quinn, NT Droste, A Peacock, DI Lubman, Peter MillerPeter Miller
BACKGROUND: Understanding the characteristics of drug users in the night-time economy (NTE), and whether particular drugs are associated with risky practices and experience of harm, is necessary to inform targeted policy responses in this context. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the correlates of drugs used in the Australian NTE relating to demographics, alcohol use, and experience of harm. METHODS: Patrons were interviewed in the NTE of five Australian cities in 2012-2013 (n = 7,028; 61.9% male, median age 22 years). A custom designed survey gathered demographic data, alcohol, and substance use on the current night, and experience of harm in/around licensed venues in the past 3 months. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the correlates of drug use. RESULTS: Ecstasy was most commonly reported (4.0%), followed by cannabis (2.9%), methamphetamine (2.6%), and cocaine (1.6%). Ecstasy users were more likely to be younger and report energy drink consumption. Cannabis users were more likely to be male, and to have been involved in intoxication-related accidents/injuries and sexual aggression in/around licensed venues in the past 3 months. Methamphetamine users were more likely to have been interviewed later, and to have engaged in pre-drinking. Cocaine users were more likely to be male, aged 21 years or more, have a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.10%, and to have been involved in intoxication-related accidents/injuries in the past three months. Conclusions/Importance: We identified significant differences between types of drug users and the harms they experience, underscoring the need to develop innovative harm reduction policies in the NTE rather than blanket population-based approaches.

History

Journal

Substance use & misuse

Volume

52

Pagination

71-81

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1082-6084

eISSN

1532-2491

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Taylor & Francis Group

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor & Francis