The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit drugs and licit drugs that can be abused, with a specific focus on methylamphetamine and other substances.
Wastewater analysis is widely applied internationally as a tool to measure and interpret drug use within national populations. The Australian Government has recognised the considerable benefits of wastewater analysis and has partnered with established scientific expertise within Australian academic institutions to introduce a national program based on international models.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use and the level of use of a number of legitimate substances.
National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program—Seventh report
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has commissioned the University of Queensland, and through it the University of South Australia, to undertake the data collection and analysis that underpins the report. This is the seventh in a series of nine public reports.
The seventh report covers 54 per cent of the population, which equates to about 12.6 million people. Fifty wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the December 2018 collection, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances.
The seventh National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program revealed the average consumption of MDMA in both capital city and regional sites and average heroin consumption in capital city sites increased to the highest levels recorded by the program. While consumption of these drugs remains lower than other illicit drugs monitored by the program, these increases are of concern.
To maintain treatment plant confidentiality, each site was allocated a unique code and site names are not included.
In addition to reporting on national drug consumption, this report includes updated SCORE data which provides international consumption comparisons for a number of drugs monitored by the program.
The report also includes a breakdown by state and territory for the estimated weight of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin consumed annually in Australia.