27 September 2023

Waste water test flushes out drugs

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The annual testing of waste water in the ACT to determine the type and extent of illegal drug usage in the Territory has found Canberrans to be the nation’s number one consumers of the powerful opioid Fentanyl.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’ (ACIC) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program also found the ACT had increased its usage of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDA, oxycodone and heroin.

Chief Executive of ACIC, Michael Phelan said the waste water monitoring program provided leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit and licit drugs.

“The program provides law enforcement, policy, regulatory and health agencies additional and more objective data on the use of methylamphetamine and 11 other drugs,” Mr Phelan said.

“This creates opportunities to shape the response to both the demand and the supply side of the illicit drug market, particularly in high-use areas.”

He said the fourth report in the series provided conservative estimates of the weight of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin consumed nationally in a year using waste water data collected between August 2016 and August 2017.

“We estimate that 80.4 kilograms of methylamphetamine is consumed in the ACT each year, as well as 67.8 kilograms of cocaine, 28.9 kilograms of MDMA and
16.1 kilograms of heroin,” Mr Phelan said.

The full 79-page ACIC report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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