The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) is a national drug monitoring system intended to identify emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on travel and gathering have the potential to impact drug supply, use and harms, and the delivery of drug treatment and harm reduction services. In response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections, a four-month long ‘Stage 4’ lockdown was implemented in Melbourne, Australia from early July to late October 2020. It involved major restrictions on people’s movement and included a curfew from early August. To assess the impact of this lockdown on people who inject drugs, a second round of IDRS interviews were conducted in Melbourne in December 2020. Participants were asked about their perceived change in: use of drugs, access to treatment and harm reduction services, and price, purity and availability of the major drug classes.