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NCJ Number: 200284 Find in a Library
Title: Illicit Drug-related Harm During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: Implications for Public Health Surveillance and Action
Journal: Addiction  Volume:98  Issue:1  Dated:January 2003  Pages:97-102
Author(s): Devon Indig; Sarah Thackway; Louisa Jorm; Allison Salmon; Tim Owen
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 6
Publisher: http://www.addictionjournal.org 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After profiling the drug-related harms treated at Australian hospital emergency departments during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, this report discusses the implications of these findings for surveillance and public health action at similar events in the future.
Abstract: As part of public health preparations for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the New South Wales Department of Health developed an enhanced and comprehensive surveillance system that used data from multiple sources. A key component of this system was data collection from 15 sentinel emergency departments in metropolitan Sydney. This "Olympic Surveillance System" recorded information on the following categories of presentations: symptoms of acute communicable diseases; injuries that occurred outside the home; and adverse events due to illicit drug use. Information on the patients included age, sex, country and region of residence, self-reported drug type used, and departure status. Data collection occurred over a 38-day period beginning 3 weeks before the Olympic Games and finishing 3 days after the closing ceremony. The study found that the mean daily number of presentations to emergency departments for harms due to illicit drug use was significantly higher during the Olympic Games than in the period leading up to the Games, culminating in a large peak following the closing ceremony. There was also a significant increase in the mean daily number of presentations related to the use of ecstasy or amphetamines; whereas, no change was found in presentations related to heroin use. Over half (52 percent) of the presentations occurred at two emergency departments in areas previously labeled as "hot spots" for illicit drug use. These findings suggest that public health resources should be devoted to both preventing and treating adverse illicit-drug reactions during mass events that are typically accompanied by a party atmosphere. Efforts should be particularly strong in those areas in which illicit drug use has been a problem in the past. 1 table, 1 figure, and 20 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs
Index Term(s): Australia; Drug abuse in foreign countries; Drug effects; Drug overdose; Foreign drug law enforcement; Medical and dental services; Special events policing
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=200284

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