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National wastewater drug monitoring program: report 2, July 2017

Drug traffic Drug use Forensic sciences Australia

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit drugs and licit drugs that can be abused, with a specific focus on methylamphetamine and 12 other substances.

Wastewater analysis is widely applied internationally as a tool to measure and interpret drug use within national populations. The Australian Government has recognised the considerable benefits of wastewater analysis and has partnered with established scientific expertise within Australian academic institutions to introduce a national program based on international models.

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use and the level of use of a number of legitimate substances.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has once again commissioned the University of Queensland and the University of South Australia to deliver the capability and prepare the second National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report.

The July 2017 report is the second in a series of nine public reports. This data provides statistically valid datasets of methylamphetamine usage and distribution patterns across 37 sites in capital city and regional areas across all states and territories except South Australia and the Northern Territory. The second report covers approximately 51 per cent of the population, or more than 12 million people.

These reports will provide concrete data to inform a range of disciplines—including health, education, law enforcement and the not-for-profit sector—in formulating their responses to the complex issues posed by drug markets. As the program evolves, it will be possible to evaluate existing and future response initiatives.

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