Meth-related Emergency Department Attendances

10 September 2018

The use of Crystal Methamphetamine, better known as Meth or Ice, is a significant community health concern. The negative effects experienced between Meth users and first-hand encounters from health professionals in the Emergency Department have been well-documented in the media.

Of those who use amphetamines in Western Australia, more are choosing to use methamphetamine, a more potent form, and they are using it more frequently than in the past. Analysis of seizures by enforcement authorities shows that methamphetamine potency has increased in recent years. Amphetamine use can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and psychosis in those people who have a vulnerability to mental health problems.

Both the Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission have identified a need for information about patients attending an ED who are affected or likely affected by Meth.

From 1 July 2017, Meth-related ED attendances data has been captured across the three main tertiary sites and four selected metropolitan and rural hospitals, accounting for 50% of state-wide ED attendances. These sites all use the Emergency Department Information System (EDIS). There are on-going efforts to collect data from the remaining public hospitals.

These reports provide information and aggregated data on the key findings, demographics and characteristics of Meth-related Emergency Department Attendances.