26 September 2023

Wastewater drugs reveal usage trends

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The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has released its annual report into drug usage around Australia revealing that the average consumption of nearly all major drugs in Canberra had increased.

According to the Commission’s recent analysis of the city’s wastewater, the use of cocaine, methylamphetamine, MDMA, fentanyl and cannabis were all on the rise in the ACT.

ACIC said its report, National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report 10, included updated SCORE data, which provided comparable international consumption data for a number of drugs monitored by the program.

“When compared to 30 other countries, Australia ranks fourth highest for total estimated stimulant consumption (specifically methylamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine and MDMA) and third highest for consumption of both methylamphetamine and MDMA,” ACIC said.

“Nicotine and alcohol remain the highest consumed drugs measured by the program for which dose data is available, with methylamphetamine remaining the highest consumed illicit drug,” it said.

“During the period monitored by the report, there were a number of record consumption levels reported, including capital city and regional MDMA and nicotine consumption, capital city methylamphetamine consumption, regional cocaine consumption, and regional alcohol consumption.”

ACIC said regional consumption of heroin had decreased to the lowest level recorded by the program.

Chief Executive of ACIC, Michael Phelan said the program gave a valuable insight into the trends and emerging issues of drug consumption across Australia while helping to identify new sources of threat.

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

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