Jodie Grigg presented key findings from the 2018 Western Australia Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System interviews as part of a National Drug Research Institute public seminar on Thursday, 28 February.
Key conclusions include:
- The demographic characteristics of the sample are largely unchanged, although we observe fluctuations in the gender breakdown across years.
- Following significant ecstasy shortages around 2011, the ecstasy market has gradually made a full resurgence and there are indications it’s stronger than ever. 2018 observed record highs in the popularity of the drug and perceptions of purity, coupled with record lows in price.
- The market has also significantly diversified and now features a variety of different forms of ecstasy, all of which are perceived by most as easy to access, particularly pills and capsules.
- Despite record low prices, current data do not show an increasing trend in frequency of use. Although, use of capsule forms may be increasing.
- In contrast to national trends, reports of non-fatal stimulant overdoses in the Perth sample have been decreasing since about 2011.
- Drugs which have been increasing over time include cocaine, benzodiazepines, ketamine and nitrous oxide (all drugs observed record highs in 2018).
- The data suggest the darknet may now play a significant role in the supply of ecstasy and related drugs within WA.