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Policymakers Are Focussing On Drugs Australians Aren't Taking

By John Coyne and Madeleine Nyst

Many a top cop and senior bureaucrat will be heaving a sigh of relief after the results of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's 'National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program' (NWDMP) failed to generate much media attention. There were no questions about why, after so many police operations and taskforces, ice is still widely used in Australia. Nor were they quizzed on why they've been focussing on 'bath salts' instead of 'hillbilly heroin'.

Internationally, the analysis of wastewater has become the standard for measuring drug use in communities. On Sunday, ACIC released the NWDMP report which provides an analysis of wastewater from 51 sites across Australia. According to Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan, the report is the first of its kind in Australia and has provided new insight into what drugs are being consumed in Australia, and where.

"For all the mega busts, ice is readily available in our communities."