Amphetamine addiction has become the leading problem for Sydney residents seeking treatment for drug and alcohol dependence, figures suggest.
Australia’s largest rehabilitation service, Odyssey House, revealed on Monday in its annual report that 49% of its clients in the city cited amphetamine-type stimulants, such as ice, as their main reason for seeking treatment.
Odyssey House’s chief executive, Julie Babineau, said it was simply a matter of supply and demand. “The reason that people in addiction like it [methamphetamine] is that they can get it more pure, they really get their kick right away and it is a lot more addictive,” she said. “It is more accessible and cheaper.
“That is also why alcohol has been stable over the years. It is legal and it is readily available so when things get too expensive or it is hard to get people will substitute the drug with alcohol.”
Alcohol remained a significant problem during the year, nominated by 20% of clients as their principal drug of concern, down 9% from 2015.
While addiction to heroin and prescription opioids was down 45% on the previous year, Babineau warned that there could easily be another surge. “It fluctuates more than shares,” she said.
Odyssey House had a 164% rise in opioid admissions last year and a 20% fall in amphetamine admissions.
“It is really a question of accessibility, cost and the purity of the drug that they want,” Babineau said. “They need something every day, they need something all the time.”
The average age for first intoxication using alcohol or other drugs was as young as 12 to 13 years old, compared with 16 to 17 in 2003. “I think it is incredibly sad to see people at that age have their first intoxication and I suspect there is a big issue with society in general.”
Australian Associated Press via the Guardian/Dec. 18, 2017
Photo: NSW Police
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.