Cocaine, drugs, drug dealing, drug abuse. File photograph.
Cocaine, drugs, drug dealing, drug abuse. File photograph. stevepb/PIXABAY

REVEALED: Our drug problem going down the drain

THEY say that what we throw away can say a lot about us, but what can a look at what washes down our drains show?

A lot, and for many of us, it's some damning news.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has released the fifth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing New South Wales reported the highest levels of average cocaine consumption in capital city and regional sites nationwide.

Based on wastewater findings, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission estimates 1814.6 kilograms of cocaine is consumed in the state each year.

In April 2018, New South Wales reported an increase in methylamphetamine consumption and had the highest average regional consumption of MDMA, MDA and fentanyl nationally.

For Queensland, fentanyl consumption in capital city and regional sites increased in April 2018 and are the highest levels recorded since the program commenced.

Queensland also reported the second highest average regional consumption of cocaine nationally.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Phelan APM said: "The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is the first of its kind in Australia, providing leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit and licit drugs".

"The program provides law enforcement, policy, regulatory and health agencies additional and more objective data on the use of methylamphetamine and 11 other drugs," he said.

"This creates opportunities to shape the response to both the demand and the supply side of the illicit drug market, particularly in high-use areas."

The fourth report provided conservative estimates of the weight of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin consumed nationally in a year using wastewater data collected between August 2016 and August 2017.

"We estimate that 2298.4 kilograms of methylamphetamine is consumed in New South Wales each year, as well as 1814.6 kilograms of cocaine, 471.9 kilograms of MDMA and 239.9 kilograms of heroin," Mr Phelan said.

"We estimate that 1277.9 kilograms of methylamphetamine is consumed in Queensland each year, as well as 323.8 kilograms of cocaine, 223.3 kilograms of MDMA and 75.7 kilograms of heroin."

For the fifth report, 47 wastewater sites were monitored nationally in April 2018, covering 54.8 per cent of Australia's population-around 12.8 million people.

"On a national level, alcohol and nicotine remain the highest-consumed substances and methylamphetamine continues to be the most consumed illicit drug tested," Mr Phelan said.

There were seven sites monitored in New South Wales in April 2018-three capital city sites and four regional sites while there were 11 sites monitored in Queensland over the same period-three capital city sites and eight regional sites.

The full report is available on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website: www.acic.gov.au



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