Australian Drug Trends 2015 provides unique insight into drug market and use patterns

Image - Australian Drug Trends 2015 provides unique insight into drug market and use patterns
Date Published:
18 May 2016
Contact person:
Marion Downey
Phone:
+61 401 713 850

Comprehensive national reports from NDARC’s Drug Trends monitoring system, Australian Drug Trends and Australian Drug Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets, are now available on the NDARC website.

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) are intended to serve as a monitoring system, identifying emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug markets.

The reports provide information on availability, price, purity of drugs as well as patterns of consumption and law enforcement-related trends of drug use.

The IDRS consists of three components: interviews with a sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs conducted in the capital cities of Australia; interviews with key experts, professionals who have regular contact with illicit drug users through their work; and analysis and examination of indicator data sources related to illicit drugs.

The report shows that heroin was the main drug of choice among the sample of injecting drug users, followed by methamphetamine. Crystal methamphetamine, also known as ‘ice’, was the most popular form of methamphetamine with 67% reporting recent use, and has seen an increase in use from the past year while the use of the powder form known as “Speed” declined.

Using a similar methodology to the IDRS, the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) monitors the price, purity and availability of ecstasy and other drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, GHB, LSD, MDA and ketamine.

In contrast to injecting drug users, regular psychostimulant users, who report ecstasy and other psychostimulants as their drug of choice, used in pubs, clubs and dance venues, were much less likely to use crystal methamphetamine with only 19% reporting use in the previous six months, and an overall decline of almost 10% in any methamphetamine use from 2014, from 47% to 48%.

Both systems provide a comprehensive monitoring of trends among two important and very different populations of drug users and provide an insight into the illicit drug market on both street-level and online.

To read the full reports, please click below:

Australian Drug Trends 2015: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)

Australian Drug Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets 2015: Findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)