National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program: Report 18 out now
Mar 17, 2023
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program tests wastewater for traces of drugs, as a way of estimating rates of substance use within a population. The trends detected from wastewater analysis need to be interpreted with caution - changes in purity can appear to show increasing rates of use, assumptions made about standard doses of various drugs can be inaccurate. However over time, and when collated alongside other data sources, it could be a useful way of monitoring changes in the drug market. The most recent report includes data from wastewater collected in August and October 2022. The report showed declines in cocaine detections in both regional areas and capital cities along with record low detections of alcohol in both regional areas and capital cities. There were increases in MDMA, cannabis and ketamine and these increases were seen in both regional areas and capital cities.