Turns out young Australians are taking record levels of cocaine and consuming higher potency ecstasy according to the Australian Drug Trends Reports as part of the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centres research.
The annual report by the Australian Government funded organisation found some interesting trends around the consumption of illicit drugs after a a survey with 299 participants from various states around Australia.
Of the results they found;
- More than one in four people who take stimulant drugs are using ecstasy weekly in 2018
- Crystal and capsule ecstasy use have reached the highest levels since reporting began in 2003, while pill use has dropped
- Almost three in four (72 per cent) reported taking crystal ecstasy and more than two in three (63 per cent) take the capsule form of the drug, which are known to be of higher purity than tablets.
- One in five reported taking capsules not knowing what substance was inside.
- Over the past six months half of all participants said they had used LSD and one in three used ketamine.
- Almost all of the participants reported drinking alcohol (98 per cent), 90 per cent used cannabis and 85 per cent used tobacco (44 per cent daily).
- Cocaine use had also risen, with almost 60 per cent of participants saying they had taken the drug in the last six months, compared to 48 per cent in 2017 but not used frequently.
Some of these trends reflect globally such as the increased use of cocaine in the UK which has pointed to cheaper production stemming out of Columbia.
Dr Amy Peacock, who heads up the NDARC’s Drug Trend’s research said “It is a concerning trend in terms to the possible harms to people,” adding “Use of higher purity stimulants can increase the risk of experiencing acute and long-term negative health effects [including] dehydration, increased or irregular heart rate, agitation, headaches, and seizures,”
The report follows the tragic deaths of two attendees at this years Defqon festival in which NSW Premiere vowed to shut it down forever before rolling back on the statement and instead opting to set up a Drug Safety Panel to investigate the dangers – without any discussion around pill testing or any industry representatives involved.
It will be interesting to see what the results of the panel are, and if there will be a strategy outside of increased punishments and continued use of drug detection dogs that get it wrong 60-70% of the time and cost a staggering amount.
Meanwhile, drug possession numbers have been found to have been accidentally duplicated twice for nearly 7 years in NSW.
Turns out music festivals in Australia already do a lot to keep you safe, check out what they do here.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald