The 2016 NSW Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets report represents the seventeenth year in which data has been collected in NSW on the markets for ecstasy and related drugs (ERD). The Ecstasy and related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) is the most comprehensive and detailed study of ERD markets in NSW.
Using a similar methodology to the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS), the EDRS monitors the price, purity and availability of ‘ecstasy’ (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) and other related drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ketamine. It also examines trends in the use and harms of these drugs. It utilises data from three sources: (a) surveys with regular psychostimulant users (RPU); (b) surveys with key experts (KE) who have contact with RPU through the nature of their work; and (c) the analysis of existing data sources that contain information on ecstasy and other drugs. RPU are recruited because they are considered a sentinel group to detect illicit drug trends. The information from RPU is, therefore, not representative of ecstasy and other drug users in the general population, but is indicative of emerging trends that may warrant further monitoring.
The findings from each year not only provide a snapshot of the drug markets in NSW, but also help to provide an evidence base for policy decisions, inform harm reduction messages, and provide directions for further investigation when issues of concern are detected. Continued monitoring of the ERD markets in NSW will help add to our understanding of the use of these drugs; the price, purity and availability of these drugs and how these may impact on each other; and the associated harms which may stem from the use of these drugs.