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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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78 The number of treatment episodes in NT AODTS related to amphetamines has declined since 2001 but is stable over 2003 to 2004. 11.3 Cocaine While only very few IDU can comment on price, it appears that the price for a cap of cocaine has increased this year. The proportion of the IDU sample reporting recent cocaine use has declined steadily over the four years since 2000: 18% in 2000, 13% in 2001, 10% in 2002, 5% in 2003; however, in 2004 this proportion increased to 10% and remained at 10% in 2005. Recent injection of cocaine increased from 6% in 2004 to 8% in 2005. The number of treatment episodes in NT AODTS related to cocaine has risen slightly from 2002, to 24 episodes in 2004. Although no KE nominated cocaine users as the group they had most contact with, general KE comment suggest that there are two distinct groups of people who use cocaine. One group has an established supply route and so can use cocaine regularly, and another group can use cocaine only when it becomes available on the street. KE also suggest that these patterns of supply have been consistent over a number of years. 11.4 Cannabis Cannabis price, potency and availability have been stable: a gram of hydroponic cannabis costs $25 as does bush cannabis. An ounce of hydroponic cannabis was $300 and the cost of bush cannabis was $200. Both hydro and bush cannabis remain easy to obtain, with the median time to score both forms decreasing from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. The majority of IDU described the potency of hydro as high-medium and of bush as medium. Until 2003, cannabis was consistently the illicit drug used by the greatest proportion of the IDU sample. In 2004 the proportion using cannabis dropped and morphine became the illicit drug reported as most recently used. This was the same for 2005. The number and weight of cannabis seizures made by the NT police has increased over the last two financial years. The rate of hospital separations with cannabis as the primary diagnosis in the NT has fluctuated over the last 10 financial years; however, the number of episodes of treatment in AODTS where cannabis is the principal or other drug of concern has declined since 2001. This is noteworthy, given that this year key experts were inclined to raise cannabis-related harms, and in particular the relation between cannabis use and mental health problems. 11.5 Morphine Pharmaceutical morphine continues to be the most frequently used and injected opiate in Darwin, with MS Contin being the most common brand. This is evidenced by the consistent proportion of IDU samples over the last five years reporting its recent use and by similarly consistent key expert reports. The median price of the most common dose of morphine used in the illicit market, MS Contin 100mg, remains unchanged from 2003 and 2004 at $60; 100mg tablets of Kapanol 100mg increased by $10 to $60. Although the prices of some forms of morphine have increased, most IDU report prices over the six months prior to interview as stable. The recent use of licit morphine, i.e. morphine prescribed in the users name, appears to have remained reasonably consistent in the last three years. Recent illicit use and recent injection have fluctuated over the last few years, with a decline in both this year compared to last year. The

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