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Wastewater results reveal Australia’s shocking world drug ranking

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Wastewater results reveal Australia’s shocking world drug ranking

Australians spent an estimated $8.9 billion on illegal drugs in 2020 according to the latest wastewater testing results from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Head of determination for high-risk and emerging drugs at the ACIC, Shane Neilson, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett the shocking figures rank Australia as the fourth highest in the world for drug consumption.

“In world terms, we rank fourth of roughly 40 countries, in terms of our consumption, and the lion’s share of that is methylamphetamine.”

The wastewater testing took place at seven different locations across WA from April to August at the peak of the pandemic.

“Methylamphetamine is the major problem of the illicit substances in Western Australia,” Mr Neilson said..

WA’s hard border with the eastern states had a significant impact on the supply of drugs into the state.

“The police in Western Australia had significant seizures, and the lockdown and the hard border meant it was very difficult for drug suppliers to reach people who are consuming drugs,” he said.

“What you saw from that was a significant decrease in consumption in Perth and regional areas of Western Australia.”

Click play to hear the full interview.

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Liam Bartlett
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