Investigating Differences Between Drugs Used in the Australian Night-Time Economy: Demographics, Substance Use, and Harm

Amy Pennay, Rebecca Jenkinson, Brendan Quinn, Nicolas Tom Droste, Amy Peacock, Daniel Ian Lubman, Peter G Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Understanding the characteristics of drug users in the night-time economy (NTE), and whether particular drugs are associated with risky practices and experience of harm, is necessary to inform targeted policy responses in this context. Objectives: To investigate the correlates of drugs used in the Australian NTE relating to demographics, alcohol use, and experience of harm. Methods: Patrons were interviewed in the NTE of five Australian cities in 2012–2013 (n = 7,028; 61.9% male, median age 22 years). A custom designed survey gathered demographic data, alcohol, and substance use on the current night, and experience of harm in/around licensed venues in the past 3 months. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the correlates of drug use. Results: Ecstasy was most commonly reported (4.0%), followed by cannabis (2.9%), methamphetamine (2.6%), and cocaine (1.6%). Ecstasy users were more likely to be younger and report energy drink consumption. Cannabis users were more likely to be male, and to have been involved in intoxication-related accidents/injuries and sexual aggression in/around licensed venues in the past 3 months. Methamphetamine users were more likely to have been interviewed later, and to have engaged in pre-drinking. Cocaine users were more likely to be male, aged 21 years or more, have a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.10%, and to have been involved in intoxication-related accidents/injuries in the past three months. Conclusions/Importance: We identified significant differences between types of drug users and the harms they experience, underscoring the need to develop innovative harm reduction policies in the NTE rather than blanket population-based approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Australia
  • cannabis
  • cocaine
  • ecstasy
  • methamphetamine
  • night-time economy

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