Second National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Report shows steps in the right direction
Thursday, 27 July 2017
The release of the second National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report has revealed a small but significant reduction in the use of ice.
The report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) shows that ice use has declined across the country in the four months from October last year to February 2017.
This is a step in the right direction that serves as an encouraging indication that our law enforcement and health responses are having a positive impact.
However, we must also be cautious in our optimism; a massive challenge remains ahead of us.
The wastewater report has again confirmed that ice remains the most highly consumed illicit drug across Australia.
Ice consumption remained highest in Western Australia and South Australia, although these levels have shown a decline since historical highs of October 2016.
The report also highlighted an increase in cocaine use in the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria between August 2016 and February 2017.
South Australia and the ACT had the highest oxycodone use in capital cities, while regional use in parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria was above the national average.
Importantly, this data will allow us to further hone in on the crooks responsible for this evil trade and hold them to account.
The data will also ensure we can continue to monitor the progress of our law enforcement and health responses and fine-tune them accordingly.
The second National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report tested for ice and 12 other illicit and licit drugs at 37 sites across the country, capturing data on about 51 per cent of Australia’s population.
The results provide us with the second of nine national snapshots to be covertly conducted over the next three years that will tell us what drugs are being used and where.
The ACIC received a $3.6 million boost from the Coalition Government under the Proceeds of Crime Act for this initiative to detect ice hotspots, and data on other drugs being used following a recommendation by the National Ice Taskforce.
The Coalition Government is investing almost $300 million to support actions resulting from the National Ice Action Strategy to improve treatment, after care, education, prevention and community engagement.
We are also tackling the supply of ice through increased international cooperation, enhanced intelligence sharing, better controls of precursor chemicals and greater efforts to prevent ice reaching our regional and remote communities.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report is available HERE