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Crystal methamphetamine and use of commercial pipes amongst a sentinel sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants in Australia, 2021

Apr 29, 2022

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) have recently released a report titled “Crystal methamphetamine and use of commercial pipes amongst a sentinel sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants in Australia, 2021”. The report is part of the Ecstacy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS).  Key findings state that in 2021, 16% of the national sample reported recent (past six month) use of crystal methamphetamine, with smoking being the most common route of administration.  Of those, almost one-fifth reported having trouble accessing a commercial pipe with most of these participants reporting that this resulted in them using a homemade pipe instead. Those who had recently smoked crystal methamphetamine using a pipe had experienced burns, sores, cuts or blisters on the mouth, lips, hands, face or other body part, a raw throat, coughing fits, coughing blood, or trouble breathing. 

The authors concluded that trouble accessing commercial pipes can cause people to engage in potentially more harmful methods of consumption.  They suggest making commercial pipes more readily available (e.g. distributed freely via health services) would not only help to reduce risk but would also provide an opportunity to engage people who smoke methamphetamine and provide harm reduction advice.

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