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Indig D, Thackway S, Jorm L, Salmon A, Owen T. 
“Illicit drug-related harm during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: implications for public health surveillance and action”. 
Addiction. 2002 Dec 20;98(1):97-102.
AIMS: To describe presentations to emergency departments during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games for conditions related to the use of illicit drugs; to discuss the implications of such presentations for surveillance and public health action at similar events in the future.

DESIGN: Identification of target presentations in sentinel emergency departments; entry of data into a purpose-built database; and daily electronic transfer of data for central collation and analysis.

SETTING: Fifteen sentinel emergency departments in the greater Sydney metropolitan area for a 38-day period spanning the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

PARTICIPANTS:Four hundred and twenty-four presentations to sentinel emergency departments with conditions related to illicit drug use.

MEASUREMENTS: Patient\'s age, sex, country and region of residence, location of emergency department, types of illicit drugs involved and departure status.

FINDINGS: The mean daily number of presentations for adverse events due to illicit drug use was significantly higher (13.3 versus 8.8 presentations, t = 2.2, P = 0.04) in the 2-week Olympic Games period than in the lead-up to the Games, culminating in a large peak following the closing ceremony. There was also a significant increase (5.1 versus 1.7 presentations, t = 2.8, P = 0.007) in the mean daily number of presentations related to use of ecstasy or amphetamines, whereas no change was noted in presentations related to heroin use. Over half (52%) of presentations occurred at two emergency departments in areas known as being \'hot-spots\' for illicit drug use. CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced surveillance of adverse events following illicit drug use, possibly targeting known \'hot-spots\', should be considered for future mass events. Advance preparation of preventive strategies, such as \'party-safe\' messages, will enable rapid response to unusual patterns of illicit drug-related harm during future mass events.
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