Meth and heroine consumption drops in South Australia

South Australians are using less methylamphetamine and heroin than they were last year according to new wastewater results released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program (NWDMP) results were released on Tuesday and showed methylamphetamine, or meth as it is more commonly known, average consumption decreased noticeably in Adelaide and regional areas.

The results showed regional areas of SA are drinking almost half that of their city counterparts.

Alcohol consumption was similar around Australia, except for regional SA where it was relatively low.

In comparison to tests in the state in December 2017, the April 2018 tests showed that cocaine, MDA, oxycodone and fentanyl consumption increased in regional sites.

ACIC chief executive officer, Michael Phelan said the NWDMP provided law enforcement, policy, regulatory and health agencies objective data on the use of 12 substances.

 “The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is the first of its kind in Australia, providing leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit and licit drugs,” he said.

“This creates opportunities to shape the response to both the demand and the supply side of the illicit drug market, particularly in high-use areas.”

The April report was the first time samples had been take on a weekend in regional South Australia. 

Nine sites were monitored in South Australia during April 2018 including four capital city sites and five regional sites.

Data was collected between August 2016 and August 2017 to show the average consumption of each substance in each state.

“We estimate that 1005.3 kilograms of methylamphetamine is consumed in South Australia each year, as well as 108.8 kilograms of cocaine, 58.7 kilograms of MDMA and 38.6 kilograms of heroin,” Mr Phelan said.

“On a national level, alcohol and nicotine remain the highest-consumed substances and methylamphetamine continues to be the most consumed illicit drug tested.”

Nationally 47 wastewater sites were monitored during April, covering 54.8 per cent of Australia’s population and around 12.8 million people.