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NT trends in ecstasy and related drug markets 2011 : findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)



NT trends in ecstasy and related drug markets 2011 : findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)


NT trends in ecstasy and related drug markets; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


Date:2011; Australian drug trends series No. 80




Drug abuse surveys -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Ecstasy (Drug) -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Drug abuse -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales

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Sydney (N.S.W)



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xi EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report presents the 2011 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) results for the Northern Territory (NT). This is the eleventh year this study has been conducted in the NT. The IDRS is coordinated by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The IDRS analyses data from a survey of people who inject drugs (PWID, referred to in this report as participants or respondents), a survey of key experts (KE) and secondary illicit drug-related indicator data in order to monitor the price, purity and availability of a range of illicit drugs. The IDRS also identifies emerging drug trends through comparison of results obtained in previous years. Demographic characteristics of the survey respondents As in previous years, the 2011 sample of PWID was predominantly male (70%). The mean age was 42 years and 87% of the respondents were unemployed or on a pension at the time of interview. Eight percent reported full-time employment, down from 12% in 2010. The percentage of respondents who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander increased to 28% in 2011. Ninety percent reported heterosexual status while 6% identified as bisexual and 3% as gay or lesbian. Year 10 was again the mean for years of education although 46% reported some form of post-secondary education. Reported participation in treatment dropped to 4% of the sample (12% in 2010) and 44% reported prior prison history. The demographic profile of the IDRS sample is similar to that surveyed in previous years. Patterns of drug use Recent drug use refers to use in the six months preceding the IDRS interview. As in 2010, any form of morphine (either prescribed or not prescribed) was the drug recently used by the largest proportion of the population (81%), followed by cannabis (71%), any form of benzodiazepines (61%) and any form of methamphetamine (55%). Morphine was again the drug injected most often in the last month (68% of the sample), with 68% of the sample also reporting morphine as the most recent drug injected. In 2010, 83% of the sample reported morphine as the drug most often injected in the last month and 79% reported morphine as the last drug injected. Illicitly obtained morphine was again the most commonly used illicit drug in the past six months (by 72% of the sample), followed closely by cannabis (71% of the sample). Some form of methamphetamine was again the drug most likely to be the first drug injected (by 52% of the sample) although only 19% of the sample identified any form of methamphetamine as the most recent drug injected. Methamphetamine powder (speed powder or speed) was again the form most frequently used by PWID in the previous six months (43%), followed by crystal methamphetamine (crystal, ice or shabu) at 28%, methamphetamine base (base) at 12% and methamphetamine liquid at 4%. In 2011, 9% of the sample reported recent heroin use, an increase from the 5% who reported recent heroin use 0f 2010. Seventy-four percent reported heroin use at some time in their lives. Thirty-four percent of the sample (35% in 2010) reported recent use of any form of methadone (including prescribed and non-prescribed methadone liquid and Physeptone). Thirteen percent of the sample reported recent use of either prescribed or non-prescribed Subutex (buprenorphine) while 19% reported recent use of Suboxone