Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis

Prichard, Jeremy, Lai, Foon Yin, Kirkbride, Paul, Bruno, Raimondo, Ort, Christoph, Carter, Steve, Hall, Wayne, Gartner, Coral, Thai, Phong K . and Mueller, Jochen F. (2012) Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, 442 442: .

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Prichard, Jeremy
Lai, Foon Yin
Kirkbride, Paul
Bruno, Raimondo
Ort, Christoph
Carter, Steve
Hall, Wayne
Gartner, Coral
Thai, Phong K .
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis
Journal name Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
ISSN 0817-8542
Publication date 2012-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Volume 442
Issue 442
Total pages 8
Place of publication Canberra, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian Institute of Criminology
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Foreword | Estimating the use of illicit drugs in the general community is an important task with ramifications for law enforcement agencies, as well as health portfolios. Australia has four ongoing drug monitoring systems, including the AIC’s DUMA program, the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, the Illicit Drug Reporting System and the Ecstasy and Related Drug Reporting System. The systems vary in methods, but broadly they are reliant upon self-report data and may be subject to selection biases. The present study employed a completely different method. By chemically analysing sewerage water, the study produced daily estimates of consumption of methamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine. Samples were collected in November 2009 and November 2010 from a municipality in Queensland, with an population of over 150,000 people. Estimates were made of the average daily dose and average daily street value per 1,000 people. On the basis of estimated dose and price, the methamphetamine market appeared considerably stronger than either MDMA or cocaine. This paper explains the strengths and weaknesses of wastewater analysis. It considers the potential value of wastewater analysis in measuring net consumption of illicit drugs and the effectiveness of law enforcement agency strategies.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Fulltext available online:

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Created: Mon, 02 Jul 2012, 10:57:48 EST by Susan Cooke on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre