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  • Writer's pictureDASA

Who's getting wasted?

The use of MDMA (Ecstasy) and heroin in Australia is increasing according to the most recent analysis of wastewater. 

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program examined fifty wastewater treatment plants, covering over 12.6 million Australians, to obtain a snapshot of the drugs being consumed in December 2018.

After alcohol and nicotine, the most widely used drug is methamphetamine. Methamphetamine use continues to outstrip all other illicit drugs. Its use was particularly prevalent in NSW, QLD, SA and WA.

The use of oxycodone continues to increase, particularly in regional Australia, and has recently been included in the revised AS NZS 4760 standard for oral fluids testing in workplaces.

Heroin use was high in NSW and Victoria.

MDMA/MDA use was high in most states/territories.

In Tasmania, marijuana use was common both in the city and regional areas.

Similar studies have been conducted overseas. Australia is second only to the USA in the use of methamphetamine and MDMA.

This data suggests that drug use is prevalent in the community and so there is the risk that drug users are in the workplace.

Organisations should have an effective drug and alcohol policy in place. DASA can assist in writing a robust policy for your organisation. We are experts in drug and alcohol policy development, training and testing. Contact us on 02 8001 2535 or via

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