Daily Telegraph (Australia) July 18 2007
PREVIOUS drug use, rather than being depressed or coming from an underprivileged background, is driving the growing use of amphetamines by young adults.
A Victorian study has found adolescents who use cannabis and other drugs in their teens are at much higher risk of moving on to amphetamines as young adults.
The study, by experts from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW, found 12 per cent of nearly 2000 Victorian 24-year-olds who took part had used amphetamines in the previous year, and between 1and 2 per cent were using amphetamines at least weekly.
It is the first study to examine what factors in adolescence predict the later use of ice, speed and other amphetamines, use of which has been rising in Australia and around the world.
The findings further undermine the view, now widely disputed, that cannabis use is relatively benign and does not lead users to harder drugs. The research findings were published in the international journal Addiction.