Home > Crystalline methamphetamine (ice) use prior to youth detention: A forensic concern or a public health issue?

Spivak, Benjamin and Shepherd, Stephane and Borschmann, Rohan and Kinner, Stuart A and Ogloff, James R P and Hachtel, Henning (2020) Crystalline methamphetamine (ice) use prior to youth detention: A forensic concern or a public health issue? PLoS ONE, 15, (5 e0229389), e0229389. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229389.

External website: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...

Links between crystalline methamphetamine (CM) use and criminal offending are often drawn in the media; however, there has been little scientific research into this relationship. The aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence and correlates of lifetime CM use among a sample of young people in detention in Australia and to examine whether an association exists between lifetime CM use and recidivism in this population.The sample included 202 young people (164 males) in youth detention in the state of Victoria, Australia. Participants were administered questionnaires related to lifetime substance use and socio-environmental experiences. Lifetime mental health data and offending data were obtained for each participant from public mental health and policing databases. More than one third (38%) of the sample reported lifetime CM use. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, older age, male gender, polysubstance use, and high levels of community disorganisation were associated with CM use.

The presence of a psychiatric diagnosis over the lifetime was not significantly associated with CM use. CM use was also not significantly associated with violent recidivism. Efforts to address CM use and related harm in detained youth should include community-based strategies to reduce CM use among this vulnerable population following their release from detention. However, the findings suggest that CM use on its own is unlikely to be an important consideration for professionals concerned with determining which young people should be selected for treatment designed to reduce the risk of violent recidivism.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
CNS stimulants, New psychoactive substance
May 2020
Identification #
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229389
Page Range
5 e0229389

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