Marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy have topped a list of the most frequently used illicit drugs in Orange, but an expert said the latter two were not well represented in people seeking help to overcome their drug habits.
Responding to a poll conducted at www.centralwesterndaily.com.au asking 'which drugs have you seen taken in Orange?', more than 17 per cent of people selected cannabis, with 13 per cent admitting they had witnessed cocaine or ecstasy being taken.
Dr Julaine Allan, a research manager at Lives Lived Well, which operates the former Lyndon Withdrawal Unit, said the figures reflected the results of research conducted nationally into young people’s drug use.
Dr Allan said while “party drugs” may top the list, addiction to cocaine didn’t present often in Orange, and addiction to ecstasy didn’t present at all.
You can’t use ecstasy weekend after weekend to a point you get dependent on it, so it’s not going to cause you the same problem that alcohol does.Dr Julaine Allan
“There’s a difference between what people take recreationally and what people get addicted to,” she said.
“You can’t use ecstasy weekend after weekend to a point you get dependent on it, so it’s not going to cause you the same problem that alcohol does.”
Dr Allan said its alcohol, methamphetamine and cannabis addictions which present most often at Lyndon's drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in Orange.
POLL: Have your say …
- Survey conducted by polldaddy
The facility’s reported intake for people seeking treatment for addiction was 45 per cent for alcohol, with the remaining 55 per cent divided fairly evenly between people seeking treatment for ice and marijuana addictions and a few for prescription opioid use.
More than 10 per cent of respondents to online poll had seen MDMA [Methylenedioxymethamphetamine] consumed, ahead of speed, mushrooms and ice (8 per cent).
Of the poll-topping drugs, Dr Allan said cannabis was the biggest concern as an addictive substance in Orange, despite being viewed by many as a safe drug.
She said when abused it has the same negative effect on health, relationships and financial wellbeing as any other addictive substance.
Dr Allan said, despite its dangers, the commonly-cited suggestion that it was a gateway drug was a myth, and those who go on to experiment with class A substances usually have a tendency towards risk-taking behaviour to begin with.
“Think of how many people smoke marijuana. If the gateway thing was true you’d expect them all to go on to use other drugs,” she said.
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