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Australian Drug Trends 2020: Key Findings from the National Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

image - IDRS Square
Author: Amy Peacock, Julia Uporova, Antonia Karlsson, Olivia Price, Daisy Gibbs, Rosie Swanton, Roanna Chan, Raimondo Bruno, Paul Dietze, Simon Lenton, Caroline Salom, Louisa Degenhardt & Michael Farrell

Resource Type: Drug Trends National Reports


The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) is a national illicit drug monitoring system intended to identify emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug markets, and forms part of Drug Trends. The IDRS consists of annual interviews across all Australian jurisdictions with people who inject drugs (PWID), as well as analysis and examination of indicator data sources related to illicit drugs. The IDRS is designed to be sensitive to trends, providing data in a timely manner, rather than describing issues in detail.

In 2020, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2000-2020 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs, recruited from all capital cities of Australia.

This includes:

  1. report overviewing the key findings in 2020
  2. An infographic summarising key findings in 2020
  3. A background and methods document highlighting approaches to collating and presenting estimates
  4. The executive summary, summarising key findings in 2020
  5. National IDRS data tables, 2020

Results are not representative of all consumers or drug use in the general population and should be interpreted alongside findings from other data sources for a more complete profile of emerging trends in illicit drug use in Australia.

Latest release date

March 2021

Use of the data

Please note that any presentation of these data should include acknowledgment of Drug Trends at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Citation: Peacock, A., Uporova, J., Karlsson, A., Price, O., Gibbs, D., Swanton, R., Chan, R., Bruno, R., Dietze, P., Lenton, S., Salom, C., Degenhardt, L. & Farrell, M. (2021). Australian Drug Trends 2020: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney.


Drug Trends is supported by the Australian Government under the Drug and Alcohol Program.


Please contact the research team at drugtrends@unsw.edu.au with any queries; to request additional analyses using these data; or to discuss the possibility of including items in future IDRS interviews.