TreatMethHarm: An agent-based simulation of how people who use methamphetamine access treatment

François Lamy, Brendan Quinn, Robyn Dwyer, Nicola Thomson, David Moore, Paul Dietze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Methamphetamine use in Australia has recently attracted considerable attention due to increased human and social costs. Despite evidences indicating increasing methamphetamine-related harm and significant numbers of frequent and dependent users, methamphetamine treatment coverage remains low in Australia. This paper aims to investigate the complex interplay between methamphetamine use and treatment-related access by designing an agent-based model, using epidemiological data and expert-derived assumptions. This paper presents the architecture and core mechanisms of an agent-based model, TreatMethHarm, and details the results of model calibration performed by testing the key model parameters. At this stage of development, TreatMethHarm is able to produce proportions of methamphetamine users that replicate those produced by our epidemiological survey. However, this agent-based model still requires additional information and further tests before validation. TreatMethHarm provides a useful tool to elicit dialogue between researchers from different disciplines, integrate a variety of data and identify missing information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Drug career
  • Drug-related harms
  • Methamphetamine use
  • Treatment access

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