Australia's drug use revealed
Australia's overall use of illegal drugs dropped by about 10 per cent in the year to last August, according to the latest findings from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program.
But Australians still consumed more than 14 tonnes of methylamphetamine (commonly known as ice), cocaine, MDMA, and heroin – worth an estimated street value of $10 billion – in the 12-month period, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has revealed.
Sydney recorded the most cocaine use and the second-highest MDMA use in all the Australian capital cities in April 2022, the wastewater analysis showed.
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Melbourne came in as the capital city with the highest MDMA use, with regional South Australians using the highest amount of MDMA use in the country.
Regional Queensland was found to have the highest amount of ketamine use.
Adelaide turned out to be the capital city with the highest amount of ice use, while Hobart was the capital city with the highest oxycodone use.
The Northern Territory came in as having the highest levels of alcohol consumption in all of Australia.
The wastewater samples collected in April covered about 56 per cent of the national population – 14.1 million Australians.
Overall, the ACIC data has shown cocaine, ketamine and heroin consumption was higher in capital cities, while alcohol, nicotine, ice and MDMA use was higher in regional areas.
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Acting ACIC CEO Matt Rippon has said the drug use found was "a concerning amount".
"Both in terms of economic cost – the actual expenditure on drugs – and the cost to the community – through violence, road trauma, property crime, illness, injury and deaths associated with illicit drug use," he said.
"The findings show methylamphetamine continues to be the most consumed illicit stimulant by some margin.
"We also saw record low national consumption of cocaine."
The ACIC found the low level of cocaine consumption is primarily due to police seizures and detections which limited supply, as there was no tangible evidence of a reduction in demand.
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