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Ecstasy's purity increasing in 2012

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Ecstasy appears to be making a comeback among Australia's regular drug users according to preliminary findings from the 2012 Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS).

The annual survey revealed:

  • 32 per cent of regular ecstasy users nominated it as their drug of choice, up from 27 per cent in 2011
  • Ecstasy's purity appears to be increasing, with the number of users describing the drug's purity as low nearly halving
  • 89 per cent of regular ecstasy users rated ecstasy as "very easy" or "easy" to obtain. Only 10 per cent nominated it as "difficult" to obtain, down from 20 per cent of users last year.


For more on ecstasy read our media release or the longer report, Key findings from the 2012 EDRS.

Ecstasy wasn't the sole focus of the study; researchers also asked participants about  their use of methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, GHB, MDA and LSD. Some of the more interesting results include:

  • 40 per cent of those surveyed had taken an emerging psychoactive substance, like synthetic cannabis, in the previous six months
  • 12 per cent had taken a capsule without knowing its contents
  • 40 per cent had used cocaine in the preceding six months, a drop of six per cent on 2011
  • Of those who commented, 26 per cent rated cocaine purity as high, up from 15 per cent in 2011
  • Of those who commented, only five per cent rated ketamine as "very easy" to obtain, down from 26 per cent in 2011.
  • 34 per cent of those surveyed had used LSD in the prior six months, down from 46 per cent in 2011
  • There was a nine per cent drop in the number of users who reported taking benzodiazepines like diazepam, down to 34 per cent
  • Levels of methamphetamine, ketamine and cannabis use remained fairly stable


The research is conducted annually by NDARC's Drug Trends team. This year, the researchers interviewed 600 regularly ecstasy users from across Australia. 

For even more data, check out the EDRS key findings.