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Filed under Medical & healthcare, News, Science & Research ~ by Press on  29 Jun 2020

Australia’s stimulant consumption among the highest in the world.

Of 30 countries, Australia is fourth highest for estimated stimulant consumption – methylamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine and MDMA -  and third highest for consumption of both methylamphetamine and MDMA.

Usage was inferred from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) tenth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program that covered sampling in October and December 2019 and February 2020.

Sampling covers 43 per cent of the population, or about 10 million people. Fifty-three wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the December 2019 collection, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances.

Nicotine and alcohol remain the highest consumed drugs measured by the program for which dose data is available, with methylamphetamine remaining the highest consumed illicit drug.

There were reported increases in the population-weighted average consumption of nicotine, methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and fentanyl in both capital city and regional sites from August to December 2019. The population-weighted average consumption of cannabis in capital city sites and alcohol in regional sites also increased over the same period.

During the period monitored by the report, there were a number of record consumption levels reported, including capital city and regional MDMA and nicotine consumption, capital city methylamphetamine consumption, regional cocaine consumption, and regional alcohol consumption. Regional consumption of heroin decreased to the lowest level recorded by the program.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Phelan APM said the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program gives valuable insight into the trends and emerging issues of drug consumption across Australia, while helping to identify new sources of threat.

Australians continue to consume illicit drugs at increasing levels and the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is providing an important and consistent measure to guide and monitor drug responses,” Mr Phelan said.

The program continues to evolve and demonstrate its flexibility.”

The report includes updated SCORE data, which provides comparable international consumption data for a number of drugs monitored by the program.

The ACIC received an additional $4.8 million over four years in the 2019 Budget to fund the program, building its longitudinal data and delivering an additional twelve public reports.

The report is available from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website:

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