Trends in pharmaceutical stimulant use among a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and/or other illicit stimulants in Perth, WA, 2007-2022
Non-prescribed use of pharmaceutical stimulants, such as Ritalin or dexamphetamine, for cognitive or physical enhancement and recreation is a growing concern in Australia and internationally. Although considered relatively safe when used as prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), non-medical use is associated with a variety of short and long-term health risks.
Over the past decade, new formulations of ADHD medications have been engineered to help combat non-medical use, leading to diversification in the types of pharmaceutical stimulants prescribed and diverted into the illicit market.
In response to growing concern and market diversification, this bulletin investigated trends in the use of this class of drugs among the Perth EDRS sample.
It found that recent use has almost doubled since monitoring began, starting at 43% in 2007 and peaking at 81% in 2022, and frequency of recent use has increased from a median of monthly or less frequent use between 2007-2020 to a median of 10 occasions in the past 6 months in both 2021 and 2022.
Read the bulletin here