New Zealanders and Australians continue to outpace the Europeans with the dubious honour of high meth consumption.
A new study from Massey University, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal found that both Auckland and the selected Australian cities had “significant methamphetamine problems compared to many European cities”.
The researchers gathered their data by testing wastewater for drugs in two Auckland spots, as well as eight sites across Australia.
They found MDMA and cocaine use is low in Auckland compared to sampled Australia cities. Cocaine wasn’t detected at all at either of the two Auckland testing points, and MDMA was only picked up one day of the sampled week. By contrast, both cocaine and MDMA was detected on every day at all eight Australian sites.
New Zealand testing low on MDMA and cocaine could be a result of difficulties getting those drugs into the country through customs—whereas methamphetamine is more easily cooked locally, and sells relatively cheaply.
And while New Zealand’s meth problem means we’re registering higher than many other global cities, some Aussie cities were outpacing Auckland. Levels of methamphetamine consumption at the two Auckland wastewater treatment plants were lower than five of the eight Australian sites.
This article originally appeared on VICE NZ.