National wastewater drug monitoring program: report 6, February 2019

Drug traffic Drug use Forensic sciences Australia

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has commissioned the University of Queensland, and through it the University of South Australia, to undertake the data collection and analysis that underpins the report. This is the sixth in a series of nine public reports.

For this sixth report, wastewater samples were collected during weeks of June and August 2018.  Wastewater analysis was conducted at 58 sites (22 capital city and 36 regional) across all Australian states and territories, covering 13 substances, providing a detailed picture of national drug consumption. The report covers 56 per cent of the population, which is around 13 million Australians.

To maintain treatment plant confidentiality, each site was allocated a unique code and site names are not included.

The sixth National Wastewater Drug Monitoring program report reflects a further evolution of the program and for the first time reports nationally on cannabis consumption.

When comparing data from August 2016 to August 2018, the population-weighted average consumption of methylamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, nicotine and alcohol in both capital city and regional sites increased, while consumption of MDMA and oxycodone in both capital city and regional sites decreased.

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