Adolescent emergency department presentations with alcohol- or other drug-related problems in Perth, Western Australia

Gary Hulse, S.I. Robertson, Robert Tait

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Aims. To identify the morbidity, type of substance used and the pattern of presentation by adolescents with problems related to alcohol or other drug (AOD) use. Design. A 4-week retrospective review of hospital records. Setting. Four metropolitan hospitals in Perth, Australia. Participants. There were 1064 presentations by people aged 12-19 years of which 160 (15%) were related to AOD use. The median age of the AOD cases was 17 (interquartile range 16-19) of whom 97 (61%) were male and 19 (12%) were Indigenous Australians. Findings. Alcohol was the most frequent precursor to presentation (66, 41%) followed by heroin (24, 15%) and prescription/over-the-counter drugs (24, 15%). Injury was the most common diagnosis at presentation (50, 31%), followed by overdose/drug use (47, 29%). A diagnosis of injury was significantly more likely following the use of alcohol than other categories of substances (chi (2) = 42.07, df = 3, p(2) = 7.4, df = 1, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1067
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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