Australia dominates the global consumption of methylamphetamine and tops the list of 24 countries with the heaviest users.
Meth consumption across Australia was found to be the highest per capita compared to other countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania, according to the latest report from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
For the first time since April 2017, Australian capital cities have seen more use of meth, cocaine and MDMA than regional areas.
Meth has proven to be the most popular in Perth among the capital cities.
Regional NSW, however, use the drug more than any other rural area.
ACIC chief executive Michael Phelan APM said most organized crime in Australia revolves around the use of illegal drugs.
“Serious and organized crime groups benefit from the importation, production, trafficking and sale of drugs that harm the community,” said Mr Phelan.
“Through wastewater analysis, we gain insight into the serious and organized criminal groups that supply illegal drug markets.”
Australia has been ranked as the highest users of meth, cocaine and MDMA compared to other countries including New Zealand, United Kingdom, Portugal and South Korea.
Those who live in the big cities use more cocaine, MDMA and even heroin than people in regional areas.
But alcohol, fentanyl and nicotine are more common in regional cities.
According to the report, illicit drugs are slowly increasing since the COVID pandemic, but they are not yet at pre-pandemic levels.
It compared consumption data from 13 million Australians and analyzed wastewater in both regional and capital cities from December 2021 to February 2022.
Mr Phelan said this period is a time when COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed or lifted in most states and territories.
Organized crime groups have redoubled their efforts to supply key illicit drug markets as COVID-19 restrictions eased, generating significant illicit revenue, but they continue to face challenges, not least from law enforcement agencies. Mr Phelan.
“Regular and near real-time wastewater reporting enables the ACIC and our partners to detect and respond to increasing drug threats in a timely manner and monitor the impact of responses.”