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NT drug trends 2005 : findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)



NT drug trends 2005 : findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)


Northern Territory drug trends; E-Journals; PublicationNT; NDARC technical report ; no. 243




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.






Drug abuse -- Northern Territory -- Statistics -- Periodicals; Drug abuse -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Drug abuse surveys -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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

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NDARC technical report ; no. 243



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ix EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report presents the results of the 2005 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) for the Northern Territory (NT). This is the seventh year that the IDRS has been conducted in the NT. The IDRS is coordinated by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) which is part of the University of NSW. It is jointly funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (the Department) and by the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund (NDLERF). The IDRS combines data from a survey of injecting drug users (IDU), a survey of key experts (KE) and the collation of illicit drug-related indicator data to monitor the price, purity and availability of a range of illicit drug classes and to identify emerging trends in illicit drug use and the illicit drug market. Demographic characteristics of injecting drug users As in previous years, the IDU sample was primarily male (71%), aged in the mid-to-late-thirties (mean=38 years), spoke English at home, and was unemployed (81%). Fifteen percent of the sample identified as indigenous, 56% had been in prison, and 24% were in treatment at the time of interview. Patterns of drug use among IDU The five illicit drugs most commonly used by the IDU sample in the last six months remain unchanged from the previous year: morphine, cannabis, speed powder, benzodiazepines and some form of methadone. Morphine use and injection among the IDU remains stable compared to last year; diverted MS Contin is still the preferred form, although Kapanol use is increasing. Recent speed use and injection continues to rise while recent use and injection of the other two forms of methamphetamines, base and crystal, have declined. Recent use and injection of heroin has fluctuated over the last three years. The proportion using and injecting illicit methadone syrup increased this year, with the other forms fluctuating. Heroin At a median of $80 per cap, the price of heroin has increased compared to last year. Purity continues to be rated as low. Occurrence of heroin use in the NT IDU sample has decreased this year, but is still greater than that found in 2003. Availability continues to be limited, with heroin rated by most users as difficult or very difficult to obtain. Methamphetamine The median price of a gram of powder has increased from $100 in 2003 to $280 in 2005. IDU continue to rate speed and base as easy to obtain, while crystal is rated equally as easy and difficult. Powder continues to be the most common and most frequently used form, and recent use of base and crystal show decreases since 2003. Recent methamphetamine use and injection remains high, with continuing increases in the proportions of IDU reporting injection.

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