Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ice crisis felt more in Moira shire

Report outlines the number and rate of drug-related call outs for ambulance officers, finds crystal amphetamine rates on the rise.

ROB HENSON May 19, 2014 3:28am

The rate of Ambulance call outs for crystal methamphetamine in the Moira shire is higher than that of Mildura, Ballarat or Gippsland Local Government Areas.

The Turning Point report, Trends in Alcohol and Drug-Related Ambulance Attendances in Victoria 2012/13, has found that while alcohol continues to be the prevalent drug keeping paramedics in the Moira shire most busy, crystal methamphetamine use, among other drugs, has been growing fast.

Across regional Victoria, Crystal Methamphetamine attendances rose 198 per cent, from 77 attendances in 2011/12 to 231 attendances last financial year.

In the Moira local government area, alcohol-related attendances were pre-dominant in the study, rising by six to 57 total, or 198.8 per 100000 population.

Benzodiazepines, including Xanax and Valium, were the second most common .

In the Moira shire the number of Benzodiazepine-related attendances for ambulance workers rose by three, or 66.3 per 100000 population — a rate which ranks seventh among all Victorian shires.

There were six amphetamine-related attendances during 2012/13, or 21 per 100000 residents.

Crystal methamphetamine use prompted five call outs in the Moira shire for 2012/13, or 17.4 per 100000 population.

While the number of call outs for ‘ice’ was relatively low compared to other drugs, the rate of attendances per capita in Moira outstripped larger regional centres, such as Ballarat, Mildura or Gippsland.

The report also showed anti-depressant use was on the rise, with the Moira shire incidents increasing to 10, or 34.9 per 100000 population.

Opiod analgesic (painkillers) attendances remained at seven call outs for the shire, or 24 per 100000. Antipsychotic medications accounted for six attendances (20.9 per 100000), down from 12 the previous year.

There were less than five call-outs for cannabis use across the shire, compared to six in 2011/12, or 21 per 100000 population.

Population rates of attendances were higher for cannabis, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioid analgesics and other analgesics in regional Victoria than in metropolitan Melbourne.

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