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National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Report 2018

Nov 29, 2018

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has released the 2018 National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report. This report includes wastewater data from all states and territories and covers both capital city and regional sites. The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program measures the presence of a number of illicit substances (methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, heroin, mephedrone) as well as licit substances (nicotine and alcohol) and some pharmaceuticals (oxycodone and fentanyl). The program does not currently measure cannabis use, however the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has stated the program will test for cannabis use in future reports.

Some interesting findings include:

  • Alcohol and nicotine were the most consumed drugs in Australia.
  • The population-weighted average consumption of methamphetamine decreased in both capital city and regional sites from 2017 to 2018.
  • There was an increase in fentanyl consumption, particularly in regional sites. Whilst it is unclear whether the fentanyl measured was being used for legitimate purposes, the increase is of concern as the high potency of fentanyl increases the risk of overdose.

Wastewater analysis provides yet another source of data collection to help build a more detailed picture of Australian AOD trends.

Go to the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report 2018.