Report | 17 05 2016


NT Drug Trends 2015: Findings from the Ecstasy and related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)



The NT EDRS aims to monitor trends in the Darwin ecstasy and related drug (ERD) markets and to investigate harms associated with ERD use. The 2015 NT EDRS revealed changes in drug markets and indications of drug-related harms.


Demographics of EDRS participants

  • 101 participants were interviewed in the 2015 NT EDRS (59 male and 42 female).
  • Participants were young (mean age of 24 years) and most commonly spoke English as their first language. Just under half (45%) of participants were born overseas, with the majority arriving in Australia in 2014/15.
  • Most participants were heterosexual, single, living in rental accommodation and employed full-time.
  • Two participants reported being currently in drug treatment.
  • Overall, the 2014 and 2015 were mostly similar in demographic composition.

Patterns of drug use

  • Participants had experience with a wide range of drugs, having used an average of 11 different drug types during their lifetimes and 8 different drug types over the past six months.
  • Sixteen per cent reported having ever injected a drug.
  • Proportions reporting lifetime and recent use of particular substances remained stable from 2014 to 2015 with the exception of recent use of OTC codeine which increased from 5% to 16%.
  • Cannabis was the main drug of choice for the majority of the sample in 2015, followed by ecstasy and alcohol. In 2014, the main drug of choice was ecstasy.
  • Over half of the group had recently binged (i.e. used for more than 48 hours continuously) on ERD. The median number of binge episodes was three in the past six months.