The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) seventh National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program covers 54 percent of the population, which equates to about 12.6 million people. The report shows that NSW had the highest level of coke use, while Victoria had the highest consumption of heroin in the country and the highest average regional consumption of MDMA and oxycodone.
Fifty wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the program last December, whereby human waste was tested for 13 substances to monitor drug consumption within those areas.
The seventh National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report has shown that Australians are using more illicit drugs than ever recorded by the program, Victorians consuming the most heroin, and NSW topping coke use.
The results of the program showed that urban Victorians consume more heroin than other Australians and the state’s regions have also recorded the highest levels of MDMA and oxycodone use.
Nationwide, meth remains the highest drug consumed by far, with 9,847 kg of meth estimated to have been consumed in the year that ended last August, based on the wastewater analysis. This was followed by 4,115kg of cocaine consumed, and 1,162kg of MDMA. The legal drugs – Nicotine and alcohol – still remain the highest consumed drugs measured by the program.
Of the states, NSW led the country in cocaine consumption, Queensland and South Australia’s drug of choice was fentanyl and the Northern Territory had the highest consumption of alcohol and nicotine.
Western Australia continued to produce some of the highest meth consumption levels in both capital city and regional areas, while Tasmania had the highest average capital city consumption of MDMA, oxycodone, fentanyl and cannabis nationally. Tassie also had the second highest average capital city cocaine consumption in the country.
The average consumption of MDMA in both capital city and regional areas, and average heroin consumption in capital cities, also increased to the highest levels ever recorded by the program. ACIC Chief Executive Officer Michael Phelan said that “the Australian community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels.”
Of 25 countries with comparable data, Australia’s level of drug-use ranks second highest after the United States for total consumption of amphetamine, methylamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA.