Illicit drugs

In 2019–20, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) produced intelligence products to:

  • improve understanding of illicit drug consumption during the period of the COVID 19 pandemic and the resultant national restrictions
  • consumption of pharmaceutical opioids
  • trends in the Australian methylamphetamine and related precursor market
  • the threat posed by counterfeit pharmaceuticals
  • and the domestic manufacture of drugs for sale on the dark web.

We completed two assessments which compared data from our National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program with data from our Illicit Drug Data Report to determine whether significant seizures of illicit drugs can have an impact on the consumption of illicit drugs. The two markets selected for initial analysis were the methylamphetamine and cocaine markets.

In both cases it was revealed that large seizures can have a tangible short-term impact by reducing consumption in the jurisdiction where the seizure occurred, and sometimes in other jurisdictions, for several months.