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Trends in cocaine use, markets and harms in Australia, 2003–2019

Man, N, Chrzanowska, A, Price, O, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Dietze, PM, Sisson, SA, Degenhardt, L, Salom, C, Morris, L, Farrell, M and Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026 2021 , 'Trends in cocaine use, markets and harms in Australia, 2003–2019' , Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 40 , 946–956 , doi: 10.1111/dar.13252.

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Introduction: This paper aims to describe cocaine use, markets and harms in Australia from 2003 to 2019. Methods:Outcome indicators comprised prevalence of use from triennial household surveys; patterns of use from annual surveys of sentinel samples who use stimulants; and cocaine-related seizures, arrests, hospitalisations, deaths and treatment episodes. Bayesianautoregressive time-series analyses were conducted to estimate trend over time: Model 1, no change; Model 2, constant rate ofchange; and Model 3, change over time differing in rate after one change point. Results: Past-year population prevalence ofuse increased over time. The percentage reporting recent use in sentinel samples increased by 6.1% (95% credible interval[CrI95%] 1.2%,16.9%; Model 3) per year from around 2017 (48%) until the end of the series (2019: 67%). There was aconstant annual increase in number of seizures (count ratio: 1.1, CrI95% 1.1,1.2) and arrests (1.2, CrI95% 1.1,1.2), and percentage reporting cocaine as easy to obtain in the sentinel samples (percent increase 1.2%, CrI95%0.5%,1.8%; Model 2).Cocaine-related hospitalisation rate increased from 5.1 to 15.6 per 100 000 people from around 2011–2012 to 2017–2018:an annual increase of 1.3 per 100 000 people (CrI95% 0.8,1.8; Model 3). While the death rate was low (0.23 cocaine-relateddeaths per 100 000 people in 2018; Model 2), treatment episodes increased from 3.2 to 5.9 per 100 000 people from around2016–2017 to 2017–2018: an annual increase of 2.9 per 100 000 people (CrI95% 1.6,3.7; Model 3). Discussion andConclusions: Cocaine use, availability and harm have increased, concentrated in recent years, and accompanied byincreased treatment engagement.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Man, N and Chrzanowska, A and Price, O and Bruno, R and Dietze, PM and Sisson, SA and Degenhardt, L and Salom, C and Morris, L and Farrell, M and Peacock, A
Keywords: cocaine, epidemiology, injecting drug use, stimulant, dependence
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Review
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 0959-5236
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/dar.13252
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Copyright 2021 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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