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Excited to share that our #GHB paper is now out in @AddictionJrnl.
With @RoseCrossin @foruharmoayeri @DebbieScott16 and team @TurningPointAU @MonashAddiction
Trends in GHB‐related harms 2012‐2018 in Victoria
Spoiler alert, 147% rise
Highlights here->
What we did: looked at ambulance callouts for #GHB alone vs for co-use w other drugs (eg. #methamphetamine, #alcohol)
What we found: Overall #GHB presentations increased 147%, peaking in 2017 at 1339 callouts. This increase was largely driven by #GHB+#methamphetamine use together
#methamphetamine #ice co-use was >6x more likely to result in ambulance callouts than co-use with other drugs e.g. alcohol; and more #mentalhealth symptoms e.g. psychosis or anxiety.
What this means: first evidence of an increasing trend of #methamphetamine #ice use in combination with #GHB. #harmreduction info should reflect increased risks when using both drugs together. Clinically, we need to understand the drivers of co-use so treatment can be adapted.
Why this is important: Over 80% of ambo callouts resulted in transfer to hospital, this shows the #severity of harm, and the burden on #acutehealth #emergencydepartments @JudkinsSimon
Also: Overall the #prevalence of #GHB use in Australia (and most countries) is low, and typically in specific subgroups e.g. #festivals #chemsex. Prev data on #GHB has mostly been in surveys of these subgroups, such as Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System EDRS.
#GHB prevalence has been reported to be stable or even declining in these samples. For instance, this image below is from @NDARCNEWS latest 2019 #DrugTrends report @AmyKPeacock Image
But what about #harms? Our study used a unique, representative dataset, a collab btwn @AmbulanceVic and @TurningPointAU, which is representative of #harms across the population. This contributes to a more complete picture, and demonstrates rising #GHB #harms.
We think this is also world-first evidence of #GHB and #methamphetamine #ice use together contributing to increased #harm. Clinicians in the sector have been worried about this and seeing increased presentations, but there was little data to support this until now.
Limitations: We look at harms but not prevalence, and we don’t know whether individuals were dependent/had a use disorder or not. This data also can’t tell us the reasons for co-use, e.g. what is driving #GHB and #methamphetamine #ice use together.
We hope to unpack this with future research on #GHB #meth in clinical populations and #treatmentseekers @TurningPointAU.
End of thread!
Check out the paper at
@sophiescott2 @Gay_Alcorn @MelissaLDavey @aishamae @CroakeyNews @mariemcinerney @soozaphone
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