Illicit drugs

Illicit drugs continue to pose a serious and ongoing threat to the Australian community, which emphasises the need for law enforcement and health agencies to work collaboratively to combat both the supply and demand in Australia.

Serious and organised crime groups engaged in illicit drug trafficking and production have no regard for our laws or the harms their trade causes. Groups engaged in illicit drug trafficking and production are highly capable, well-resourced, resilient and increasingly transnational. Australians are relatively high per capita users of illicit stimulants in particular and are willing to pay premium prices for illicit drugs.

The profit derived from the production and distribution of illicit drugs and the subsequent laundering of those proceeds go on to fund further criminal activity across a multitude of crime themes. Methylamphetamine remains the most harmful illicit drug in Australia, in terms of related mental and physical health issues, property crime, offences involving violence and road trauma. A multi-dimensional approach that targets supply, demand and harm reduction is critical to reducing drug use in Australia.

The social burden that illicit drugs place on the community, and the long-term health consequences of their use, led to the development of the Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy.

We contribute to meeting the goals of the strategy by:

  • providing leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit drugs and licit drugs that can be abused, through the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program
  • identifying and improving understanding of drug markets and organised crime groups and criminal entrepreneurs that operate in those markets, to allow effective targeting and disruption by law enforcement agencies
  • providing subject matter expertise to better inform policies and legislation at the state and national levels
  • developing intelligence products that identify market trends and new methodologies being employed by organised crime groups and recommend responses that harden the operating environment for those groups
  • providing intelligence to inform operational activity targeting illicit drugs.

You can visit other pages on our website to review the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program reports and the Illicit Drug Data Report.