SYDNEY, March 15 (Xinhua) -- While abuse of illicit drugs remains a major health issue for communities across Australia, a new study published on Thursday has revealed the problem is becoming drastically worse and putting immense pressure on the country's hospital system.
Author of the paper Professor Paul Haber from the University of Sydney's Medical School analysed patient data at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to discover overall admissions from stimulant narcotics such as cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine (known locally as ice) doubled from 60 in 2012 to 141 in 2015.
The dramatic increase also appears to be spreading across every hospital department with the rate of drug-induced psychiatric consultations from stimulants tripling from 96 in 2012 to 321 in 2015.
"These are people who attend the hospital with physical and mental health problems related to the use of ice or methamphetamines more generally," Haber said.
"The impact of ice is spreading throughout the hospital system, we have an increasing burden on mental health units inside the hospital and in the general wards of the hospital."
With services already "stretched" in Australia's hospitals, Haber is calling for more support to deal with the growing issues related to stimulant drugs addiction.
"They can be agitated, aggressive, confused and psychotic," he said.
"So they are having delusions and hallucinations and they can perhaps be more difficult to contain."
"We would like to see increased capacity and more general monitoring of the situation."