Social issues, crisis, and care coordination: First responders experience responding to people affected by methamphetamines

Rikki Jones, Debra Jackson, Cindy Woods, Kim Usher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    15 Downloads (Pure)


    Methamphetamines remain a public health problem due to the extensive burden of illicit drug use on society. Callout events in the pre-hospital environment related to methamphetamine use is increasing. In addition, there has been an increase in reported mental health side effects and breakdown in relationships and social networks. Descriptive phenomenology research design was undertaken and data analysed using thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to collect data exploring the experience of first responders attending callouts to people affected by methamphetamines in the pre-hospital environment. Interviews included paramedics (8) and police officers (10) from across Australia. Overall, participants reported responding to people affected by methamphetamines was complex in nature. Complexity was affected by extensive social circumstances, people presenting in states of crisis, lack of coordinated approach, and unsuitable care environments. The social impact of methamphetamine addiction is extensive. Staff working as first responders have an opportunity to help reduce the social impact and crises, referring people to follow-up care and drug and alcohol support services. Further research is needed to determine if a standardized approach, between first responders and EDs, should be developed to help streamlines services and improve how the individual services respond as a group to people affected by substances.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)755-766
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


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