Methamphetamine use and emergency services in Australia: a scoping review


Methamphetamine use in Australia has been the topic of considerable attention by the media, political parties and the general public in recent years. This occurrence, along with the need for ambulance services and personnel to be adequately prepared, warrant further research in this area. This scoping review aims to determine who is currently using methamphetamines, whether prevalence has changed over time, and the impact is this having on emergency ambulance services in Australia.Key Findings:users of methamphetamine in Australia are mostly male, aged late twenties to early thirties and born in Australia. They generally have low levels of education and high levels of unemployment, homelessness, and rates of dependence. Overall rates of methamphetamine usage has not changed, however the proportion of users taking stronger forms of the substance has increased dramatically leading to adverse health consequences and emergency service intervention.Implications:Methamphetamine use is a societal issue which has far reaching consequences impacting on individuals, families, communities and healthcare personnel.Conclusion:the related health issues and aggression associated with methamphetamine affected patients, coupled with the increasing hospital and ambulance utilisation by this population warrants more research being undertaken on this issue.

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