National wastewater drug monitoring program: report 4, March 2018

Drug traffic Drug use Forensic sciences Australia

This is the fourth in a series of nine National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program reports to be publicly released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. The program aims to deliver on the recommendations of the Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce. It is the first program to provide leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit and licit drugs, with a specific focus on methylamphetamine and 11 other substances.

The March 2018 report includes wastewater data from all states and territories. Across the country, 45 sites and 12 substances were monitored, providing a detailed picture of national drug consumption. The report covers roughly 54 per cent of the population, which is around 12.7 million Australians. Population estimates have been refined in this report, which has increased the precision and accuracy of consumption estimates.

The data shows that methylamphetamine, of all the substances measured, continues to be the highest consumed illicit drug across all regions of Australia.

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides concrete data to inform policy in the health, education, law enforcement and not-for-profit sectors. Findings from the first two reports have been used by agencies to shape local responses—evidence the program is providing meaningful and actionable intelligence to inform Australia’s response to drug supply and demand.

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