Socio-demographic factors associated with methamphetamine treatment contact among dependent methamphetamine users in Sydney, Australia

Authors

  • REBECCA McKETIN,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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      Rebecca McKetin, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

  • ERIN KELLY

    1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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      Erin Kelly, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Tel: + 61 2 9385 0290; Fax: + 61 2 9385 0222; E-mail: r.mcketin@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Australia has a sizable population of dependent methamphetamine users, the majority of whom do not receive treatment for their drug use. The aim of the current study was to identify socio-demographic factors related to not having received treatment for methamphetamine use among dependent users of the drug in Sydney, Australia. A cross-sectional survey of methamphetamine users in Sydney was used to identify a sample of dependent methamphetamine users (n = 173). Dependence was defined as a score of four or greater on the Severity of Dependence Scale. Dependent methamphetamine users who had received treatment for their methamphetamine use (n = 57) were compared with those who had never received treatment for their methamphetamine use (n = 116) on socio-demographic characteristics and drug use. After adjusting for severity of methamphetamine dependence, socio-demographic factors that were predictive of not having received methamphetamine treatment included being female, being born outside Australia and being in full-time employment. Methamphetamine smokers were less likely to receive treatment than people who took the drug via other routes of administration, while primary heroin users who were concurrently dependent on methamphetamine were unlikely to receive treatment for their methamphetamine use. Further research is needed to understand the barriers to receiving methamphetamine treatment among these subgroups of dependent methamphetamine users.

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