Regional SA ice use down

South Australia still has some of the highest methylamphetamine, also known as ice, consumption levels in the country according to the latest National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission received $3.6 million in Proceeds of Crime funding for the program and commissioned the University of Queensland and the University of South Australia, to undertake the program.

The report, released late last year, includes data on 14 substances from 54 wastewater sites across the country to provide an overall picture of drug consumption.

Data for the report, the third in a series of nine reports, was collected from samples taken in April, June and August 2017.

Commission chief executive officer Michael Phelan said of the substances tested, nicotine and alcohol were consistently the highest consumed across the country, with methylamphetamine consumption far exceeding any other illicit drug.

While the report showed methylamphetamine use remains high, there have been decreases in average consumption at regional sites in South Australia when comparing data from August 2016 and August 2017.

From the nine SA sites monitored in August 2017—four capital city and five regional sites— the report showed average methylamphetamine consumption, average cocaine consumption and average 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) consumption all increased. 

For the same period 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) consumption in regional SA sites exceeded that of capital city sites.

The report also showed average oxycodone and fentanyl consumption increased in regional areas while it decreased at city sites.

“The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report findings present a picture of substance use across the country and reinforce the message that Australia needs a multi-faceted approach to combating the illicit drug trade—it cannot be addressed by law enforcement alone,” Mr Phelan said.