Ecstasy, GHB and amphetamine users who present at emergency departments are more likely to have come from licensed premises or homes than dance parties or music festivals, according to Burnet Institute research.
Published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, the research looked at the characteristics of ecstasy and related drug presentations at The Alfred and St Vincent’s hospitals over a three-year period.
Lead author, Ms Danielle Horyniak said just under 50 per cent of presentations were picked up at private residences and licensed venues.
“It may have been that they attended a dance party or a festival before then going out to a pub, nightclub or a party,” Ms Horyniak told the Herald Sun.
“But it does prove harms can occur in settings that aren’t commonly associated with drug use.”
The study also found 75 per cent of ecstasy users had also been drinking alcohol and attended the ED for minor symptoms like nausea, vomiting and ‘feeling strange’.
Presentations occurred between midnight and 6am on weekends with most patients seen quickly and discharged after a few hours.
“Most of these presentations could have been prevented if party hosts or pubs and clubs were more educated on how to deal people affected by these types of drugs – thus easing the burden on emergency departments at an already busy time,” Ms Horyniak said.
The research showed that while GHB accounted for the most (36 per cent) emergency presentations, ecstasy users were more likely to be admitted to hospital.