Shifting trends in the Perth ecstasy market: Harm reduction implications

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Author: Jodie Grigg and Simon Lenton

Resource Type: Drug Trends Bulletins

This bulletin examines trends in the Perth ecstasy market (e.g. price, purity and availability), alongside trends in patterns of use (amounts being used, frequency of use) and reports of non-fatal ‘overdoses’ attributed to ‘ecstasy’ among a sample who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants. 

Key findings:

  • The Perth ecstasy market has diversified, with indications capsule forms are now almost as easy to access as pills.
  • Ecstasy is at its cheapest since data collection commenced in 2003.
  • While traditionally ecstasy in Perth has been perceived mainly as low to medium purity and fluctuating, newer forms on the market are perceived by most as high purity and stable. 
  • Unsurprisingly, usage rates for forms perceived as higher purity have increased.
  • While non-fatal ‘overdoses’ attributed to ecstasy have declined in Perth EDRS samples, in the context of a shifting market marred by increasing deaths, it is critical to closely monitor ecstasy markets alongside patterns of use to help provide up-to-date harm reduction advice.