News : Ice Calls to Helpline Double
Sydney, Australia, Oct 2, 2015 -- The rate of amphetamine-related calls to the State Government’s drug helpline has more than doubled in the past five years.
It comes as new figures show that more than one in 15 Australians, or 1.3 million people, have used amphetamines.
The latest Drug and Alcohol Office annual report reveals the rate of people treated primarily for amphetamine and meth addiction rose 63 per cent between 2009 and last year.
While alcohol was still the biggest drug of concern among people seeking treatment last year, rates have been falling.
More than one-fifth of all treatments were for amphetamine-type stimulants last year, and calls to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service about the drugs rose from a rate of 58 per 100,000 people in 2009 to 118 per 100,000 last year.
The report also shows an explosion in the number of new psychoactive substances.
At last count in June, DAO had identified 300 synthetic cannabinoids on top of 450 other new substances made by modifying the chemical make-up of products such as incense, bath salts and jewellery cleaner.
An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows the use, treatment and availability of ice have increased across the country.
Spokesman Geoff Neideck said the proportion of new amphetamine users opting for ice rather than other forms of the drug rose from 26 per cent in 2007 to 43 per cent in 2013.
Treatment for people who smoked amphetamines, including methamphetamine, soared from 3.4 per cent in 2003-04 to 41 per cent in 2013-14.
Although ice use was increasing, amphetamine use in general had declined in recent years.
"In 2013, about 1.3 million people, or 7 per cent of Australians, had used meth or amphetamine in their lifetime, and 2.1 per cent had used them recently," Mr Neideck said.
Both users and addicts getting treatment were more likely to be male, with many aged between 20 and 29.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Drug and Alcohol Office:
The Drug and Alcohol Office provides and contracts a statewide network of services relating to prevention, treatment, professional education and training and research activities in the drug and alcohol sector.
Published: Monday, October 5, 2015