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Australia Today

Victorians Are Doing More Ecstasy and Heroin Than Anyone Else in Australia

Researchers from the Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program also found that MDMA use in Australia was the highest they'd ever seen.

by Gavin Butler
17 June 2019, 2:57am

Image via Flickr user Kripos_NCIS, CC licence 2.0

Victorians are consuming more MDMA, heroin, and oxycodone than anyone else in Australia, according to the latest data from the nation’s Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. The report—released today by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)—analysed the drug contents of wastewater that was collected from 50 treatment plants across Australia in December 2018, covering some 54 percent of the country’s population (or about 12.6 million people).

Researchers found that the average consumption of MDMA in both capital city and regional sites, as well as average heroin consumption in capital city sites, had increased to the highest levels recorded since the program launched in early 2017—and that Victoria was responsible for a large part of that. A staggering majority of the MDMA detected in Victoria’s wastewater was from regional areas, making it the state with the highest average regional consumption of the substance, while a huge portion of the heroin detected in Australia overall came from wastewater treatment plants in Melbourne. For confidentiality purposes, the specific locations of the plants involved in the report were not revealed.

In a statement today, the ACIC noted that “while consumption of these drugs (MDMA and heroin) remains lower than other illicit drugs monitored by the program, these increases are of concern.”

New South Wales, meanwhile, was found to be leading the Australia in cocaine use by a significant margin; nicotine and alcohol remained the highest consumed drugs measured by the program; and ice remained the highest consumed illicit drug of those tested in the country. Capital city cocaine, alcohol, and heroin average consumption exceeded regional consumption overall, and regional nicotine, MDMA, and cannabis average consumption exceeded capital city consumption.

Australia also retained its title as the nation with the second-highest appetite for uppers out of the 25 countries with comparable data—beaten only by the United States in terms of consumption of the most common stimulants (amphetamine, methylamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA).

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