The report, released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, also revealed South Australia had the nation’s highest average regional consumption of cannabis.
Regional SA, along with Queensland, also recorded the highest regional consumption of fentanyl, an opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
The testing in December 2018 found that compared with results of testing three months earlier:
- average nicotine consumption increased in cities but decreased in regions.
- alcohol and cocaine use dropped in both cities and regions.
- methylamphetamine use was up in cities but down in regions.
- MDMA consumption increased in cities but dropped in regions.
- heroin consumption increased in cities and remained stable in regions.
- cannabis consumption increased in both cites and regions.
The ACIC delivers three wastewater drug monitoring reports a year, and has been given another $4.8 million to continue its program for another four years.
ACIC CEO Michael Phelan said it gave valuable insight into trends and emerging issues of drug consumption across Australia, and can identify new sources of threat.
“The Australian community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels and the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is providing an important, unified and consistent guiding tool for developing holistic drug responses,” he said.
“We are only now starting to realise the full benefits of the ongoing program.”
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