Victorians are biggest heroin, MDMA users, NSW tops cocaine consumption: report

Victorians have the highest rates of heroin use. Source: AAP

Data from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program showed that Victoria has the highest capital city consumption rate of heroin.

Urban Victorians consume more heroin than other Australians and the state's regions have recorded the highest use of MDMA and oxycodone.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's (ACIC) seventh National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report shows Victoria has the highest average capital city consumption and second highest average regional consumption of heroin in the country, and the highest average regional consumption of MDMA and oxycodone.

File photo of a person holding MDMA tablets.
Victorians rate as the highest regional consumption of MDMA

Nationwide, methylamphetamine remains the highest one consumed by far.

Australians consumed 9,847 kilograms of meth in the year ended August 2018, the fresh analysis of wastewater data found.

This was followed by 4,115kg of cocaine, 1,162kg of MDMA and 750kg of cocaine.

Of the states, NSW led the country in cocaine consumption, Queensland and South Australia favoured fentanyl while the Northern Territory had the highest consumption of alcohol and nicotine.

Western Australia continued to produce some of the highest meth consumption levels in capital city and regional areas while Tasmania had the highest average capital city consumption of MDMA, oxycodone, fentanyl and cannabis nationally.

The state also had the highest average regional consumption of MDMA and oxycodone and the second highest average capital city consumption of cocaine in the country.

The ACIC report covers about 12.6 million people, or 54 per cent of the population, and examined wastewater at 50 treatment plants across the nation for 13 substances.

The average consumption of MDMA in both capital city and regional sites, and average heroin consumption in capital city sites, also increased to the highest levels recorded by the program.

“The Australian community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels,” ACIC Chief Executive Officer Michael Phelan said.

Nicotine and alcohol remain the highest consumed drugs measured by the program, with ice remaining the highest consumed illicit drug of those tested in the country.

Of 25 countries with comparable data, Australia ranks second highest after the United States for total consumption of amphetamine, methylamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA. 

Last year, a survey of Australian drug users found they were edging toward higher-purity forms of ecstasy and using cocaine at some of the highest-ever recorded levels.

One in five respondents also reported use of capsules with unknown contents in the six months prior to being surveyed.

The survey came as debate about pill testing began to reach fever-pitch.

The Greens and Australian Medical Association support pill testing, but many state governments and senior federal politicians remain opposed.

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