Australian Drug Trends 2021

Oct 29, 2021

Each year the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) produces the Australian Drug Trends research, which tracks the price, purity and availability of a range of different drugs. The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) and Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) have just published their national findings from the 2021 interviews with regular ecstasy and illicit drug users from across Australia. There can be fluctuations and differences across various states, but below is some of the findings from across Australia.

Some key findings from the EDRS include:

  • The proportion of people who reported using cocaine in the previous six months increased significantly from 68% in 2020 to 80% in 2021. 
  • The proportion of people who reported using MDMA  in the previous six months decreased from 83% in 2020 to 70% in 2021. There was also an increase in price and decrease in perceived purity and availability, suggesting there is a disruption in the availability of MDMA
  • The proportion of people who reported using E-cigarettes in the previous six months increased from 30% in 2020 to 58% in 2021.

Some key findings from the IDRS include:

  • The proportion of people who reported using methamphetamine in the previous six months has increased, after dropping last year due to covid-19 interrupting the methamphetamine supply. Past six months use is now back to the levels seen before the pandemic.
  • The number of days where someone nominated that they had used methamphetamine increased from a median of 48 days in 2020 to 72 days in 2021.
  • The cost of methamphetamine has decreased from $100 for one point in 2020, to $50 for one point in 2021, along with reports of increased quality and availability. This indicates that supply of methamphetamine has increased, and is likely back to the same levels seen prior to the covid-19 pandemic.

Go to the annual Australian Drug Trends reports.