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Exploring Drug Use II: Drug Use by Hospital Emergency Department Patients--A Follow-up to PADIE I

NCJ Number
Helene Wells
Date Published
August 2008
99 pages
This report presents the results of a study in 2005 which reexamined the nature and extent of alcohol and drug use among patients attending the Gold Coast Hospital Emergency Department.
The results of the study demonstrated high levels of licit drug use, such as tobacco and alcohol, among emergency department (ED) patients, reinforcing the known negative links between these substances and poor health or injury. The results also illustrated the prevalence of illicit drug use by patients of EDs. The results have a range of implications in relation to (1) the detection of illicit drug use among ED patients, (2) the resources required to handle illicit drug use by ED patients, (3) potential interventions, and (4) ideas for further research. This report documents the findings of the Prevalence of Alcohol and Drug Use in Emergency Department II (PADIE II) study, undertaken in October 2005 at the Gold Coast Hospital Emergency Department. The study was a follow-up to an earlier study, the Prevalence of Alcohol and Drug Use in Emergency Departments I (PADIE I) conducted at the same hospital in October 2002. The aim of PADIE I was to document ED patients’ patterns of licit and illicit drug use and drug-related problems in order to gain a greater understanding of drug use at a population level, as well as the health consequences of use. It also sought to identify some preventive measures. The PADIE II project sought to assess whether there had been any changes over time in the nature or prevalence of licit and illicit drug use by a sample of ED patients. Tables, figures, appendixes 1-11 and references