Australian Drug Trends 2015 provides unique insight into drug market and use patterns

National IDRS & EDRS 2015 reports

Comprehensive national reports from NDARC’s Drug Trends monitoring system, Australian Drug Trends and Australian Drug Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets, are now available on the Drug Trends website.

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) are intended to serve as a monitoring system, identifying emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug markets.

The reports provide information on availability, price, purity of drugs as well as patterns of consumption and law enforcement-related trends of drug use.

The IDRS consists of three components:

  1. Interviews with a sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs conducted in the capital cities of Australia;
  2. Interviews with key experts, professionals who have regular contact with illicit drug users through their work; and
  3. Analysis and examination of indicator data sources related to illicit drugs.

The report shows that heroin was the main drug of choice among the sample of injecting drug users, followed by methamphetamine. Crystal methamphetamine was the most popular form of methamphetamine with 67% reporting recent use. This represents an increase from the previous year, while the use of the powder form known as “speed” declined.

Using a similar methodology to the IDRS, the EDRS monitors the price, purity and availability of ecstasy and other drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, GHB, LSD, MDA and ketamine. The EDRS interviews regular psychostimulant users and report ecstasy as their drug of choice which is often used in pubs, clubs and dance venues.

In contrast to people who inject drugs, a smaller proportion of regular psychostimulant users (19%), reported crystal methamphetamine use in the previous six months. In addition there was an overall decline of almost 10% in any methamphetamine use from 47% in 2014 to 38% in 2015.

Both systems provide a comprehensive monitoring of trends among two important and very different populations of drug users and provide an insight into the illicit drug market on both street-level and online.

To read the full reports, please click below:

Australian Drug Trends 2015: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)