» Background

According to the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 1.1 million Australians aged 14 years plus had ever used meth/amphetamine and 0.4 million had recently used meth/amphetamine.

In the general population, amphetamine use is highest among young adults aged 20-30.

The NDSHS indicates that the prevalence among 18–19-year-olds of recent ecstasy use (9.1%) is the highest for any age group and illicit drug, with the exception of marijuana/cannabis.

The 2004 Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey indicates that of the 16-24 year olds surveyed (N=6005) 15 percent reported having used amphetamines at least once and 10 percent reported using the drug in the previous 12 months.

Young ATS users typically use ATS with alcohol and are prone to a range of risk factors including sexually transmitted infections resulting from unsafe sex, driving whilst drug affected and increased incidences of violence and aggression.

In a study conducted by Open Family Australia in July 2007, it was found that lack of support in dealing with other social issues can often lead to methamphetamine use.  It was also noted that methamphetamine use results in significant short-term mental health problems. 

In the same study, it was found that methamphetamine use led to family breakdown, financial issues, homelessness, increased crime and an overall deterioration in quality of life. At the same time, methamphetamine use was the result of or response to the existence of such issues as family breakdowns, homelessness and poverty.