News

Regional Victoria the nation’s ‘ice’ capital: report

By Vanessa Wiltshire

LAST Thursday, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission released the eighth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing Victoria reported some of the highest heroin and methylamphetamine consumption levels across the country.

Across the 11 sites monitored in the state in April 2019 — two capital city and nine regional sites — findings show Victoria had the highest average capital city and regional consumption of heroin and the highest average regional consumption of methylamphetamine (ice) nationally. Victoria also had the second highest average capital city consumption of cocaine and the second highest average regional consumption of oxycodone in the country.

Mr Phelan said that much of the harm that Australians suffer at the hands of organised crime is due to the illicit drug trade. By measuring the level of consumption of illicit drugs and legal drugs with abuse potential, the NWDMP provides a key indicator of the level of harm posed by these substances.

“Extending this valuable program to provide a further four years of drug consumption data will enable law enforcement, policy, education, regulatory and health agencies to build a more comprehensive picture of drug use in Australia,” Mr Phelan said.

The NWDMP found, compared to December 2018, of the substances tested in April 2019 in Victoria, average:

  • nicotine consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • alcohol consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • methylamphetamine (ice) consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • cocaine consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • MDMA consumption increased in capital city sites and decreased in regional sites
  • MDA excretion decreased in both capital city and regional sites
  • oxycodone consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites
  • fentanyl consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites
  • heroin consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • cannabis consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites.

The full report is available at www.acic.gov.au