Exploring the nature of drug use among a representative population sample of young adult users of ecstasy and amphetamine is important for developing a balanced picture of drug use that can be used to inform better policies and services. Evidence suggests that the majority of ecstasy and amphetamine users do not enter the criminal justice system or have extensive interaction with health agencies. However, research to date has largely focused upon those who are arrestees or chronic offenders (such as Drug Use Monitoring Australia and Drug Use of Career Offenders).

By studying the users of ecstasy and amphetamines in the general population, this project will provide information that will contribute to better drug policies and measures aimed at improving the health of drug users and reducing the incidence of drug-related harms (e.g. overdose, acute toxicity and drug dependence). For example, little is known about the uptake of ecstasy and amphetamines, other than that they are typically first tried in the late teens. This study will examine the motivations for beginning ecstasy and amphetamine use as well as the factors that influence reductions in, or ending of use. One of the major benefits of the longitudinal nature of the study will be the ability to assess the impact of significant life events on a person’s decisions regarding their drug use.

Lynch M, Kemp R, Krenske L, Conroy A, Webster J. (2003). Patterns of amphetamine use: initial findings from the Amphetamines in Queensland research project. Brisbane: Crime and Misconduct Commission