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The drugs Australians are turning to in record numbers

The drugs Australians are turning to in record numbers

Australia is turning to drugs in record numbers – but only certain kinds of narcotics, new analysis shows.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s latest findings from its wastewater drug monitoring shows that drug use remains a “persistent and evolving” challenge, CEO Heather Cook said.

Cook said that in December 2023, there was record high cocaine consumption in capitals and regional areas, record meth use in capitals, and record nicotine use in regions.

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Average use of meth, cocaine, MDMA, MDA, ketamine, alcohol, and nicotine also increased around the country.

However, the average use of cannabis is on the wane.

Australia also ranked high for stimulant usage internationally.

The Sewage Core Group Europe (SCORE) monitors similar drug use data from 112 cities in 34 countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.

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Australia ranked fourth in the group for illicit stimulants, and had the second-highest per capita consumption of meth.

For cocaine, Australia was 20th on the list, 15th for MDMA, and third for cannabis.

Meth use is of particular concern, with regional consumption of the destructive drug at its highest level over the past two years in all but one jurisdiction.

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“Wastewater analysis permits the ACIC to engage meaningfully with international agencies on transnational drug threats,” Cook said.

“Working alongside our domestic law enforcement partners, certain investigations now integrate targeted, high-intensity wastewater analysis to gauge the impact of law enforcement actions.

“Additionally, wastewater analysis is increasingly used as a key element in drug ‘early warning’ systems, enhancing the ability to anticipate and respond to emerging drug threats.”

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