Amphetamine-related presentations to an inner-city tertiary emergency department: a prospective evaluation

Evaluation Evaluation Australia

The illicit use of amphetamines in the community as recreational drugs and drugs of addiction is increasing.1 Amphetamine intoxication appears to be a common reason for presentation to emergency departments (EDs), but, to our knowledge, there are no published data describing the prevalence and characteristics of amphetamine-related presentations to EDs. Our aim was to describe these features in the setting of the ED at the Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), Western Australia.

The conclusion of the study is that amphetamine-related presentations comprise 1.2% of all ED attendances and have a major impact on hospital EDs. Patients are often agitated and aggressive, require extensive resources, and frequently re-attend. The burden of amphetamine-related illnesses on EDs is likely to increase in the future.

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