The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of key information on the use of methamphetamines among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. The review provides general information on the context of methamphetamine use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including the historical, social and cultural contexts, and other social factors. Idescribes the extent of methamphetamine use in Australia, and the health and social impacts.
- The most commonly used drugs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are tobacco, cannabis and alcohol. However, methamphetamine use seems to be more prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders than nonIndigenous Australians.
- This review also describes programs and strategies that can reduce the harm related to methamphetamine use, in particular those that focus on prevention and education and the importance of localised responses and community support. Treatment options are also described, although few have been evaluated in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
- The European colonisation of Australia resulted in the loss of many traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands, languages, cultures, law and customs. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were often displaced, mistreated and excluded socially and economically.
- Serious investments from the Commonwealth, state and territory governments are needed to address the lower levels of education, employment and access to services experienced by most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
There should be a focus on how to strengthen communities in dealing with and responding to methamphetamine issues in their local areas. Promising initiatives do exist through Aboriginal health services, local drug action teams funded by the Australian Drug Foundation and the police. The evaluation of the Communities That Care approach in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will also inform future strategies. Ongoing efforts to empower local communities to strengthen their own community are important in successfully addressing methamphetamine use and related harms experiences by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.