Australians are among the biggest users of methylamphetamine in the world, an analysis of wastewater revealed on Thursday.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) published the 16th report from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, focusing on 12 licit and illicit drugs in samples collected between December 2021 and February 2022.
It found that, compared to more than 20 countries that report similar data, Australia has the highest methylamphetamine consumption per capita, reports Xinhua news agency.
Also known as methamphetamine, meth or ice, methylamphetamine is an illicit stimulant that can cause psychosis, mood swings and violent behaviour.
Michael Phelan, chief executive of ACIC, said the report revealed an increase in drug use in Australia after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
“Organised crime groups have redoubled their efforts to supply the major illicit drug markets as Covid-19 restrictions eased, generating significant illicit revenue, but they continue to face challenges, not least from law enforcement agencies,” he said in a statement.
“Our report helps address harmful drug consumption through improving knowledge about these influences so that tailored supply, demand and harm reduction efforts can be developed and implemented by decision-makers on a range of drug and public health issues.”
For the first time since the start of the program in 2017, the use of methylamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA was higher in capital cities than in regional areas.