The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has revealed that the number of Australians who consume the illegal drug methamphetamine has tripled over the past five years.

According to the report released in the Medical Journal of Australia, the number of regular users of methamphetamine in Australia accounts to 268,000 in 2013-2014. The frequency also includes the number of dependents of crystal methamphetamine or ice. The report also revealed that the rise in the numbers included most consumers belonging to the 15-34 years age group.

However, the consistency in the consumption of the drug has been found among people belonging to the age group of 25-34 years old. “There is a need for both more health services and better engagement with and retention of clients in treatment services,” the authors of the report stated.

One of the authors of the study, Sarah Larney, said that the number was limited to 90,000 five years ago. She added that the numbers were figured out depending on the number of people undergoing treatment in Australia, while when the other factors were considered, the count increased enormously. According to the ABC, Larney seemed shocked to see the number of regular drug users and dependents belonging to the age group of 15-24 years, which doubled from 21,000 to 59,000 in five years.

“Our concern with the 15 and 24-year-olds is that there is a clear indication we are talking about new methamphetamine users,” she said. “The previous discussions have suggested that increasing use has been among existing users of the drug who are just using more.”But this data suggests that there is a new, young population initiating methamphetamine use and developing regular and dependent use, and the harms associated with that.”

According to Sky News, regular users who consumed drugs accounted to the use of it to at least once in a month in 2015. On the other hand, the ones who had “impaired control” of the use of the drug seemed completely dependent on the consumption despite suffering from severe unhealthy consequences.