Amphetamines and Cocaine

Crystal methamphetamine is the most common form of methamphetamine used in Australia [47961]. The most common form of cocaine used in Australia is cocaine hydrochloride, a salt that comes from the coca plant.

Amphetamines and cocaine are both stimulants [26504]. Stimulants are drugs that speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. They can increase energy and concentration and reduce hunger and the need to sleep [23510].

Recently the strength of amphetamines has increased with the strongest and most addictive stimulant drug being crystal methamphetamine or ‘ice’ [37676]. The increased strength and potency of crystal methamphetamine is associated with long term effects on mental and physical health.

What are the effects of amphetamines and cocaine?

The more crystal methamphetamine or cocaine are used, the more likely a person will develop physical or mental health problems [23510].

Physical harms include:

  • breathing irregularities
  • heart problems
  • risk of stroke
  • fits (seizures)
  • risks of overdose and blood-borne viruses from injecting.

Psychological and social harms include:

  • depression
  • extreme anxiety
  • paranoia
  • aggression and violence
  • trouble with the law.

How does it affect communities?

The regular use of amphetamines or cocaine can also lead to social problems for the individual, community and family [23510].

These can include:

  • community disruption because of increased aggression or violence
  • increased contact with the criminal justice system
  • problems with money and finances.


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Bush Potato Dreaming by Rene Dixon

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