Australians spent $9.3 billion on drugs in 2018 according to a recent report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commissions on-going analysis of wastewater treatment plants.
That number is just shy of the $9.8 billion spent at cafes and three times what Australians spend collectively on public transport annually.
The report covers around 13 million people or 56% of the Australian population and is in partnership with the University of Queensland and University of South Australia and found some interesting results according to The Age.
Of the $9.3 billion spent and 13 different substances testing, including alcohol, nicotine, oxycodone, heroin and MDMA (or ecstasy) from 58 wastewater treatment plants across Australia…
- 80 per cent was spent on methyl-amphetamine/ICE
- Sydney users consume twice as much cocaine as Melbourne users (1200mg vs 400mg per 1000)
- Roughly 4.1 tonnes of cocaine was consumed over the 12 months (increase of 34.6 per cent on the previous year)
- Roughly 10 tonnes of methyl-amphetamine was purchased and consumed
- Roughly 1.1 tonne of MDMA was used was purchased and consumed
- 700 kilograms of heroin was purchased and consumed
- Tasmania had the highest levels of Cannabis use
- Consumption of methyl-amphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, nicotine and alcohol increased
- Alcohol and nicotine were the most highly consumed
Additionally, amidst the pill testing debate after a handful of tragic deaths in Australia MDMA consumption is down in capital cities and regional areas in comparison to wastewater analysis from August 2016 to August 2018.
ACIC chief executive officer Michael Phelan said “It is astounding that Australians waste over $9.3 billion a year on drugs,” adding “This is money people could be spending on legitimate goods for themselves and their families.”
Interestingly enough he’s missed stating that it’s estimated Australians spent $14.9 billion on alcohol during the same time period, a regulated, taxed and legal kind of drug.
Check out the full report here.