Rates and features of methamphetamine-related presentations to emergency departments: An integrative literature review

Rikki Jones1, Professor Kim  Usher1, Dr Cindy Woods1

1University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Background: Methamphetamine distribution and use has rapidly spread across Australia. As a result, the number of methamphetamine-related presentations to emergency departments (EDs) has also increased. In this context, it is timely to review the rate and features of methamphetamine-related presentations to facilitate the allocation of services, staff and resources to understand the impact of methamphetamine presentations on ED’s.

Aim: To present and review the available evidence related to the features and rates of methamphetamine-related presentations to EDs.

Method: A search was conducted of CINAHL, CINCH, EBSCO, ProQuest- health and medicine, and PubMed; databases using a combination of the search terms: “emergency department”; “methamphetamine-related”; “crystal meth or crystal methamphetamine”; “presentations”; “accident and emergency”; and, “drug-related”. Articles were measure against inclusion and exclusion criteria and subjected to quality appraisal.

Results: 27 articles were identified, 18 were excluded leaving 9 articles included in the final review. Methamphetamine accounted for less than 2.3% of all ED presentations. The majority of methamphetamine users presenting to EDs were Caucasian males, with a mean age 30-37. Methamphetamine-related presentations ED presentations were more likely to present with trauma, psychosis, and be placed on 24-hour psychiatric hold. Methamphetamine-related presentations were more likely to present with agitated, aggressive and homicidal behaviour and present to ED out of hours and accompanied by police compared with other ED presentations.

Conclusion: Several important themes were highlighted in this review that have an impact on ED services, resources and staff. Understanding the rate and patterns of methamphetamine-related presentations can help to provide evidence for health promotion and policy development in ED.


Biography:

Rikki Jones is an experienced nurse who has worked in EDs, cheaters, and community health across rural and remote settings. She has worked in an educators role in a rural remote area before commencing in an academic position in the School of Health at UNE. She is currently enrolled in a MPhil by research at UNE and the focus of the study is ‘rates and patterns of methamphetamine-realted presentations to ED in QLD between 2010-2015’.