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Australian drug consumption falls: Report

Canberra, March 15 (IANS) Illicit drug consumption has fallen in Australia as a result of drug busts, according to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), which on Wednesday published the latest findings from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program.

It revealed that Australians consumed more than 14 tonnes of methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin in the 12 months to August 2022 — down 10 per cent from the previous year, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, there were increases in national methylamphetamine and heroin consumption.

The estimated street value of all consumed drugs was about A$10 billion ($6 billion).

“This is a concerning amount, both in terms of economic cost — the actual expenditure on drugs — and the cost to the community — through violence, road trauma, property crime, illness, injury and deaths associated with illicit drug use,” Matt Rippon, acting chief executive of the ACIC, said in a statement.

“The findings show methylamphetamine continues to be the most consumed illicit stimulant by some margin. We also saw record low national consumption of cocaine.”

In August, 58 wastewater sites were monitored nationally, covering approximately 57 per cent of the Australian population.

The ACIC said the overall drop in consumption was likely not driven by the growing cost of living — instead crediting a series of high-profile drug busts which limited supply, as there is no tangible evidence of a reduction in demand.

Authorities across Australia seized approximately 600 kg of cocaine in 2022.

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