Meth Australia‘s illicit drug of choice

Wastewater testing has revealed that methamphetamine is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia.

Photo: By Psychonaught (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The report traced the presence of a dozen illegal and legal drugs in wastewater across about 45 sites in Australia between October and December 2017.

The areas surveyed covers about 50 percent of the population.

It also revealed that methamphetamine consumption increased between August and December last year.

Federal Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor said the government remained focused on slowing down the supply of meth.

“We now know about 8.4 tonnes of ice, of methamphetamine, was consumed in Australia this year. This continues to be a significant problem because it was minimal only a few short years ago,” Mr Taylor said.

Similar to the report before it, it showed the problem was biggest in Adelaide and regional parts of South Australia. Perth and regional areas in Western Australia and Queensland were also dealing with large amounts of ice consumption.

Cocaine consumption, particularly in Sydney and New South Wales, grew. Alcohol and nicotine remained the most consumed non-illicit drugs.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission manages the wastewater monitoring program.

Shane Neilson, the head of the high-risk and emerging drugs determination at the commission, said the program measured the extent of the demand and location of drugs.

“Despite enormous amounts of seizures at the border and across the country we still need to, as a multi-governmental initiative, tackle the demand for the drugs,” Mr Neilson said.

The wastewater analysis helped the government determine where it should funnel funding for law enforcement and drug programs.

However, crossbench South Australian Senator Rex Patrick questioned why that report showed his state would receive less funding than Queensland or New South Wales, when consecutive wastewater analysis reports demonstrated South Australia had higher use.

– ABC