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Some broad influences that influence all the target groups were identified in the research. These can be categorised into two areas: Knowledge of and attitudes to different methamphetamines and Geographical differences. Each of these influences are discussed in detail below.
Base is commonly thought to be a shade of brown in colour. Users themselves also clearly articulated these differences and readily discussed the different forms of methamphetamine in terms of purity, intensity and length of the highs and comedowns. These differences in the experiences of taking these different forms of methamphetamine were commonly described by respondents using a wave-like pattern Figure 1. Differences were also often defined on a linear scale in terms of purity. Figure 2 illustrates this perception, with speed and base considered relatively close together in purity of methamphetamine and therefore the subsequent high and low, and possible risks of using the drugs.
In contrast, ice was thought to be at the far end of the spectrum in terms of purity of methamphetamine, and was perceived as much stronger, with a greater high and low, and with greater risks to using. However, descriptions of what is available and used do not always fit these perceived definitions.
This was illustrated by the differences in the name that some respondents gave the methamphetamine they were taking and their subsequent description of it. The following are two examples of this. A respondent, who claimed he used 'speed' on a regular basis and claimed to never want to try base or ice, described the drug he was taking as: "Sometimes it's powder, or it's gooey, sometimes it's harder As the above examples indicate, many who claimed that they would never use ice may actually be using drugs much stronger and with greater risk than they believe.
Experienced users were more aware that the three forms of methamphetamine do not fit clearly into the commonly believed definitions of appearance and purity levels. They were more aware that a broad range of methamphetamines were available that varied in strength along the linear scale of purity. Figure 3 indicates that while 'speed' occupies a place at the lower end of the scale and 'ice' occupies a place at the higher end, the section in the middle is more fluid and made up of various permutations of methamphetamines that may not always fit the perceived definition of 'base'.
Top of The quotes below from more experienced users also illustrate this: "It's just meth As many see ice almost as a completely different drug than what they use: they may not see the information on ice as relevant to them as they assume they are only taking other methamphetamines, not ice they may feel they are relatively safe in their use of speed and base as they draw a line between these drugs and ice and they may not link certain risks with their drug taking, thinking that the risks only apply to the more pure form of methamphetamine ice "It's speed, not ice". This is not to say that the established definitions should be challenged.
Defining ice as a much stronger methamphetamine with greater risks appears to be a valuable awareness and prevention measure. Many younger, less experienced methamphetamine users found the information in the recent ice campaign as relevant and credible and readily cited it as a reason not to use ice. Top of Figure 1: Perceived differences in the three identified forms of methamphetamine Text version of Figure 1 This graph shows the intensity of speed, base and ice over time. All show a wave-like pattern with a high followed by a low. Ice has the greatest high and low, speed has the smallest high and low, and base is in between.
While ice is considered to be much stronger and is on the high end of the spectrum. Top of 5. These related specifically to the reported availability of different forms of methamphetamine in specific geographic areas, and in the names used to describe the different forms.
Geographic differences and claimed availability of methamphetamines These findings have been based on the differences in claimed availability that existed across user groups in each jurisdiction, regardless of frequency of usage and concern levels. Respondents in Western Australia claimed that ice was the primary methamphetamine available, with some references to base.
A similar trend emerged in Queensland, where ice was claimed to be the most commonly available. In contrast, the dominant methamphetamine in terms of availability and usage in South Australia was base, although it was commonly called 'meth'. Ice was known to be available in this state but was more difficult to get. In all these jurisdictions it was claimed that powered speed was not able to be obtained at all. In New South Wales, it was claimed that both ice and powdered speed were readily available, and there were claims that base was becoming more available and more frequently used.
The trend was similar in Victoria; however users tended to refer to base as a paste, and call it 'smokeable speed'. Interestingly, many of the more experienced methamphetamine users commented negatively on the move away from powdered speed to other forms of methamphetamine.
As stated by one, "If speed was available I'd choose that over ice any day. There's no such thing as speed anymore, it's all methamphetamines now. Inconsistent drug supplies meant that most methamphetamine users would take whatever permutation of methamphetamine that was available.
The quotes below illustrate these points. Comments will be used to improve web content and will not be responded to. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. It will be used to make improvements to this website. Understanding the broad context of methamphetamine use last updated: February Table of contents Notes on the research List of tables and figures 1.
Executive summary 2. Background to the research 3. Research objectives 4. Methodology 5. Understanding the broad context of methamphetamine use 6. Specific types of methamphetamine users and behavioural contexts 7. Poly drug use 8. Sex and relationships 9. Information sources Risks and harm prevention Treatment and support services Developing targeted interventions Methamphetamine use among Indigenous communities. Feedback Provide feedback If you would like a response please complete our enquiries form. Comments Comments will be used to improve web content and will not be responded to.
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