Key differences in treatmentseeking stimulant users attending a specialised treatment service: A means of early intervention?

Shalini Arunogiri, Margret Petrie, Michelle Sharkey, Dan I Lubman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Few people who use stimulants seek clinical treatment. This study sought to describe a cohort of stimulant users who attended a stimulant-specific treatment service, Access Point, in Melbourne, Australia between 2008 and 2014. Methods: A retrospective audit of the records of adults (n = 175) who sought treatment for stimulant use at a stimulant- specific outpatient treatment service was conducted. Results: Service users had a median age of 32 (range = 19-54). Most stimulant users were in part- or full-time employment (53.6%) and had stable accommodation (85%). There was a high rate of mental health comorbidity, with over half (52%) reporting a previous history of mental health problems, while one-third (33%) reported previous suicide attempts. There was a high rate (48%) of previous methamphetamine-associated psychosis, which was significantly correlated with frequency of use (x 2 = 13.698, p = 0.008). Conclusions: This study supports the potential of a targeted and specialised treatment service as a means of early intervention for stimulant users. The high prevalence of methamphetamine-associated psychosis history in this group suggests that frequent use of stimulants increases the risk of psychosis, even among high-functioning individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Addiction
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Methamphetamine
  • Psychosis
  • Stimulant

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