Do younger and older Australians use different forms of meth/amphetamine?

Among Australians who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months, those aged less than 40 years were more likely to use crystal methamphetamine (ice) as their main form. Those aged 40 years and older were more likely than other age groups to use speed as their main form.

61%* of Australians aged 14-17 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months used crystal/ice as their main form; 9%** used speed (powder, capsules, and tablets); 10%** used base/paste/pure; and 21%** used other forms. 52% of Australians aged 18-24 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months used crystal/ice; 39% used speed (powder, capsules, and tablets); 6%** used base/paste/pure; and 3%** used other forms. 54% of Australians aged 25-29 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months used crystal/ice as their main form; 36% used speed (powder, capsules, and tablets), 7%* used base/paste/pure, and 3%** used other forms. 47% of Australians aged 30-39 years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months used crystal/ice as their main form; 40% used speed (powder, capsules, and tablets); 11%* used base/paste/pure; and 1%** used other forms. 43% of Australians aged 40+ years who used meth/amphetamine in the past 12 months used crystal/ice as their main form; 47% used speed (powder, capsules, and tablets); 6%** used base/paste/pure; and 3%** used other forms. * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution. ** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

† Meth/amphetamine: This term covers a range of stimulant drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) described meth/amphetamine as including drugs commonly known as speed, ice, crystal, whizz, Ritalin, or pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding. The category ‘speed’ includes powder, tablets, and capsules.