25 September 2023

ACIC monitoring finds drugs still high

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The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has released the latest report from its wastewater monitoring program that measures the level of illicit and other drugs used around the nation.

ACIC’s National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program reveals that the average consumption of MDMA and heroin in both capital city and regional sites has increased to the highest levels yet recorded.

Chief Executive of ACIC, Michael Phelan said that while consumption of the drugs remained lower than other illicit drugs monitored by the program, the increases were of concern.

“The Australian community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels and the program is providing an important, unified and consistent guiding tool for developing holistic drug responses,” Mr Phelan said.

“We are only now starting to realise the full benefits of the ongoing program.”

He said the report covered 54 per cent of the population, which equated to about 12.6 million people. Fifty wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the collection in December 2018, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances.

“In addition to reporting on national drug consumption, this report includes updated data which provides international consumption comparisons for a number of drugs monitored by the program,” Mr Phelan said.

“Of the 25 countries with comparable data, Australia ranks second highest after the United States for total estimated stimulant consumption (specifically methylamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine and MDMA).”

He said the report also included a breakdown by State and Territory for the estimated weight of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin consumed annually in Australia.

ACIC’s 84-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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