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WA Drug Trends 2013: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)

Image: Illicit Drug Reporting System logo
Author: James Fetherston, Simon Lenton

Resource Type: Drug Trends Jurisdictional Reports

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) monitors trends in the illicit drug market in Australia. The IDRS was implemented nationally in Australia following a successful pilot study in Sydney in 1996 (Hando, O'Brien, Darke et al., 1997) and trials in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in 1997 (Hando and Darke, 1998). In the year 2000, the IDRS study was carried out in all Australian states and territories, with each jurisdiction conducting a survey with people who inject drugs (PWID), interviewing key experts (KE) and incorporating routinely collected indicator data from secondary sources. The IDRS is conducted annually in each Australian state and territory.
The IDRS triangulates three forms of data: (a) a survey of approximately 100 PWID; (b) interviews with KE, with expert knowledge of drug markets; and (c) indicator data sources relating to illicit drug trends in Western Australia (WA).
As in previous years, the specific aims of the WA component of the 2013 IDRS were:
  • to document the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of the four main illicit drug classes in Perth, WA, primarily focusing on heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis;
  • to document risks and harms associated with drug use; and
  • to detect and document emerging drug trends of national and state significant findings that require further and more detailed investigation.