Alcohol use and motivations for drinking among types of young adult illicit stimulant users - Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice ISSN 0817-8542: No 515, November 2016
Ellen Leslie, Andrew Smirnov, Jake M Najman & John Scott
Drinking among young adult users of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) during episodes of ecstasy and
methamphetamine use is reported to have a number of possible functions, such as mitigating the unwanted effects
of the drugs, enhancing intoxication and pleasure, and increasing drinking capacity. While there is evidence to suggest a high prevalence of risky drinking among users of ATS in Australia, little is known about how they combine their use of ATS with the
consumption of alcohol or why they do so. This paper considers how ATS users consume alcohol during ecstasy and methamphetamine use, and also addresses alcohol abuse and dependence among low-risk and at-risk ATS users.
At-risk users are more likely to have experienced alcohol abuse and dependence during adolescence or early adulthood, suggesting that higher-risk use of ATS may be linked with problematic drinking patterns. The paper suggests that problematic
behaviour relating to alcohol and ATS use is interlinked, and may be important in developing appropriate policy responses.
The findings of this study also raise the question of whether the synergistic use of alcohol with illicit stimulants, particularly ecstasy, may lead to increased short- and long-term physical and social harms than the separate use of these substances. The combined use of alcohol and stimulants has been linked with risky behaviours including extremely risky levels of drinking (McKetin et al. 2014) and risky sexual behaviour (Breen et al. 2006). Further research is necessary to examine the potential adverse health and social outcomes of combined alcohol and stimulant use. For complete article go to http://aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/501-520/tandi515.html