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17 June 2019

Wastewater results show high levels of cocaine, oxycodone and fentanyl consumption in the ACT

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission today released the seventh report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing that oxycodone, fentanyl and cocaine consumption in the Australian Capital Territory is among the highest in the nation.

Based on wastewater findings for December 2018, the Australian Capital Territory had the second highest average capital city consumption for all three drugs.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Phelan APM said the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program gives valuable insight into the 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,” Mr Phelan said.

“We are only now starting to realise the full benefits of the ongoing program.”

There was one site monitored in the ACT in December 2018.

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program found that, compared to August 2018, of the substances tested in December 2018 in the Australian Capital Territory:

  • average nicotine consumption increased
  • average alcohol consumption decreased
  • average methylamphetamine consumption increased
  • average cocaine consumption decreased
  • average MDMA consumption increased
  • average MDA consumption decreased
  • average oxycodone consumption increased
  • average fentanyl consumption decreased
  • average heroin consumption increased
  • average cannabis consumption decreased.

In 2019, the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program received an additional $4.8 million to fund a further four years of the program. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will continue to develop its potential over the coming years and deliver three reports per annum.

The report is available from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website: www.acic.gov.au

Note to editors

In accordance with current wastewater analysis conventions, the terms of the contract, and to protect the integrity of the program, the exact locations are not able to be publicly released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. To maintain the confidentiality of the participating site, each site was allocated a unique code to de-identify their results, however trends in particular states and territories are still able to be identified.

Last updated
17 June 2019