14 September 2018

Meth hospital data released

The use of crystal methamphetamine, better known as meth or ice, is a significant community health concern. The negative effects experienced between meth users and first-hand encounters from health professionals in the emergency department have been well-documented in the media.

In July 2017, the Department of Health WA introduced one of the most robust systems in Australia for collecting data on people who appear to be using methamphetamine while attending our hospitals’ emergency departments.

This data will be used to assist the Department to quantify the impact of methamphetamine related illnesses, and to enable the provisioning of resources where they are needed.

Data for the period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017 showed a total of 3,369 methamphetamine-related (meth-related) ED attendances (1.3% of all ED attendances). This figure provides a snapshot of a cross-section of the State at a certain point in time, but is in no means a realistic representation of the whole State given not all hospitals are included in this set of data.

Key findings, demographics and characteristics of these attendance can be found in the full report.