A Royal Perth Hospital study has found that one in five SPEED users treated at the hospitals emergency department has a brain abnormality linked to memory loss, dementia and an increased risk of stroke.
The study published in the Medical Journal of Australia of 30 patients with an average age of 29 years showed detectable brain irregularities.
This brain damage at a young age is likely to cause long term damage.
Effects of illicit drug use involving amphetamines and ICE include depression, anxiety, psychosis and memory disturbance.
(Source: The West newspaper, 7 September 2010)
Hospital emergency departments are well placed to see the effects of illicit drug use including dealing with violent drug affected patients.
Long term brain damage in young drug using Australians has major consequences for drug users, their families, hospitals, mental health professionals and law enforcement.
Permanent brain damage in illicit drug users has been found in other overseas scientific studies.
Illicit drugs specifically impact of the human brain to produce the euphoria sought by users so altered brain function should be expected.
Young people’s brains do not mature until they are in their early twenties so the brain damage is very serious.
Court ordered and supervised illicit drug orders should divert all identified illicit drug users into rehabilitation before any brain damage becomes permanent.
Australia is obliged by International treaties to reduce demand for illicit drugs which has benefits for young people and the wider community.