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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




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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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58 Table 43: Forms of methadone used previous six months and primary form, % IDU, 2003-2005 2003 (n=109) 2004 (n=111) 2005 (n=107) Used Most often Used Most often Used Most often Physeptone Licit 14 13 4 2 6 5 Illicit 35 23 24 15 32 16 Methadone Licit 16 11 14 13 18 15 Illicit 12 1 11 11 21 14 Source: IDRS IDU interviews Route Route of administration information for methadone is only collected in relation to injecting and swallowing. All information about routes of administration for Physeptone are collected; however, no one reported ever snorting or smoking Physeptone. 8.2.3 Key expert comment One KE spoke about methadone. The KE had contact with approximately 21-50 users in the past 6 months for 3 days per week. It was reported that, on average, methadone users were between 17-50, but mostly late 20s, 85% male, all unemployed, educated on average to Year 10, 30% were A&TSI, 50% had a previous prison history and 10% were currently in prison, and the other drugs used by methadone users included: amphetamines, cannabis, ecstasy, benzodiazepines, inhalants and morphine. It was reported that amongst methadone users it was a 50/50 split with half using syrup and half using Physeptone, with all injecting daily. When asked about polydrug use, it was noted that a few of the methadone users would use amphetamines, most would use cannabis and alcohol, half would use ecstasy and morphine (both licit and illicit), and a few would use hallucinogens, benzodiazepines, inhalants (petrol, paint), buprenorphine and prescribed anti-depressants. It was advised that there were no differences in the polydrug use patterns for older and younger users. When describing changes in recent drug use, the KE reported that there was an increase in the use of methadone and decrease in morphine use, but no change in frequency. The KE could not comment on price or availability of methadone and associated criminal activity. 8.3 Buprenorphine Recent use and injection of illicit buprenorphine has gradually increased since 2003, with 20% currently reporting that they had use illicit buprenorphine in the last six months and 10% reporting recently injecting it (Table 44). Median days used and injected illicit buprenorphine in the last six months has remained stable since 2004 (2 days use, 4 days inject). Over the last three years, the recent use and injection of licit buprenorphine has fluctuated slightly, with 11% recently using and 5% recently injecting licit buprenorphine (Table 44). The frequency of use and injection of licit buprenorphine has decreased drastically since 2003. Licit buprenorphine was used on a median of 50 days in 2003 and 13 days in 2005, it was injected on a median of 30 days in 2003, peaked at 53 days in 2004, and dropped to 3 days in 2005.

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