Australia Confirmed as Stimulant Nation in Drug Study

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has released its latest findings from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, providing an in-depth analysis of drug consumption across the nation. Report 22 offers a critical perspective on the illicit drug markets supplied by serious and organised criminal groups.

"The data present a stark reminder of the persistent and evolving challenge of drug use and its implications for public health and safety. As we continue to combat this issue, it is crucial to understand underlying factors contributing to these trends and to develop targeted strategies to address them," said ACIC CEO Heather Cook.

Ms Cook said that in December 2023 there was record high cocaine consumption in both capital cities and regional areas, record methylamphetamine consumption in capital cities and record nicotine consumption in regional areas. Report 22 also showed average consumption of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, MDA, ketamine, alcohol, and nicotine increased in both capital city and regional sites, while average consumption of cannabis decreased.

A segment of the report updates directly comparable data from the 2023 Sewage Core Group Europe (SCORE), which covers 112 cities across 34 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Oceania. The data reaffirm the pronounced preference in world terms for illicit stimulants among Australian drug consumers, with Australia ranking 4 out of 34 participating nations. The findings further underscore the prevalence of methylamphetamine in the national stimulant market, with Australia recording the second-highest per capita consumption of methylamphetamine compared to 29 other countries. Australia also ranked 20th of 32 countries for cocaine consumption, 15th of 33 countries for MDMA consumption and third of 20 countries for cannabis consumption.

Domestic methylamphetamine consumption patterns mirror the SCORE results. In addition to the record methylamphetamine consumption in capital cities, in December 2023 average regional consumption of the drug was at its highest level over the past two years in all but one jurisdiction. These results underscore an enduring concern with methylamphetamine use, particularly in regional communities.

"Wastewater analysis permits the ACIC to engage meaningfully with international agencies on transnational drug threats. Working alongside our domestic law enforcement partners, certain investigations now integrate targeted, high-intensity wastewater analysis to gauge the impact of law enforcement actions. Additionally, wastewater analysis is increasingly used as a key element in drug 'early warning' systems, enhancing the ability to anticipate and respond to emerging drug threats," said Ms Cook.

This report is based on data collected in December 2023 (regional and capital city sites) and February 2024 (capital city cites only). Fifty-six sites participated, representing 14.1 million Australians, equating to around 55% of the Australian population. The findings are critical to the ACIC's insights on Australia's illicit drug markets, which are supplied by serious and organised criminal groups.

Read the full report on the ACIC website.


/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.