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Trends and characteristics in MDMA deaths in Australia 2000-2018

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Event description

Understanding the characteristics of individuals who have died in Australia related to MDMA and the trends in these deaths in relation to MDMA supply.


The seminar will provide information on deaths related to MDMA in Australia during a period when MDMA markets have undergone substantial changes, with increasing manufacture of high purity MDMA. Among the 392 deaths identified, the individuals’ characteristics and the circumstances of death will be described. Both deaths attributed to drug toxicity and those which occurred due to other causes in which MDMA was recorded as a contributory factor are considered. While most deaths were due to multiple drug toxicity, a notable proportion were attributed solely to MDMA toxicity. Death rates increased significantly between 2001 and 2007, declined between 2008 and 2010, and increased again between 2011 and 2016 consistent with international supply trends.

Speaker Bio:

Dr Julia Lappin, Senior Lecturer
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and School of Psychiatry, UNSW

Julia is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychiatry and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. Julia is also a Clinical Academic in Psychiatry at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. She is Clinical Director of the Tertiary Referral Service for Psychosis, where she leads a multidisciplinary team offering holistic management advice to individuals with complex psychotic illness across NSW. She completed her specialist training in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London and conducted her PhD into outcomes following first psychotic illness at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. Julia’s research interests include comorbid substance use and mental illness and improving outcomes in severe mental illness.


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