What are the most common stimulant (including methamphetamine) use disorders for which Australians are hospitalised?

In 2018-19, Australians were more likely to be hospitalised for mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of stimulants (91%, n=14,804) than for poisonings by psychostimulants (9%, n=1,394).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database, 2018-19 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2021).

† Stimulants and psychostimulants are drugs that stimulate Central Nervous System (CNS) activity. Methamphetamine is a type of stimulant / psychostimulant. There is no publicly available data which provides details of Australian hospital separations due to methamphetamine use alone. Instead, data is presented for hospitalisations due to ‘mental and behavioural disorders due to use of other stimulants, including caffeine’ (ICD-10 code F15) and ‘psychostimulants with potential for use disorder: poisoning by psychotropic drugs, not elsewhere classified’ (ICD-10 code T43.6). These categories include methamphetamine as well as other stimulant drugs (excluding cocaine and tobacco).

Hospital Separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.