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CJB114

Author Lucy Snowball, Steve Moffatt, Don Weatherburn and Melissa Burgess
Published May 2008
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 114
Subject Drugs and Drug Courts; Statistical methods and modelling; Evaluation reports
Keywords Heroin shortage, heroin use, amphetamine use, supply reduction, drug substitution, time series analysis

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Summary

Aim

The present study reports the results of a time series analysis designed to see whether there is any statistical relationship between trends in heroin use and trends in ATS use.

Abstract

Over the last decade, Australia has experienced a substantial growth in the use of amphetamine type substances (ATS). A number of studies have found evidence that the growth in ATS use may have been stimulated or exacerbated by the heroin shortage that began around Christmas 2000. One limitation of these studies is that they mostly involved interviews with groups of street or treatment-based former or current heroin users. There is no guarantee that street or treatment based drug users are typical of heroin users in general. The present study reports the results of a time series analysis designed to see whether there is any statistical relationship between trends in heroin use and trends in ATS use. After examining a number of models, no evidence of a temporal relationship between heroin and amphetamine use was found.

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