Report | 17 05 2016


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



This report presents the results of the WA EDRS (formerly the PDI), an ongoing study monitoring ecstasy and related drug markets within WA. It is part of a nationwide study, which commenced in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria in 2000, with the addition of other states and territories in 2003. The survey design was informed by and modelled upon the pre-existing IDRS, designed to monitor use of the main illicit drugs in Australia, developing a new survey for monitoring trends in the ecstasy and related drugs (ERD) markets.


The findings from each year not only provide a snapshot of the drug markets in WA, but also help to provide an evidence base for policy decisions, inform harm reduction messages, and provide directions for further investigation when issues of concern are detected. Continued monitoring of the ERD markets in WA will help add to our understanding of the use of these drugs; the price, potency and availability of these drugs and how these may impact on each other; and the associated harms which may stem from the use of these drugs.


It needs to be noted that the EDRS is not a representative sample of ecstasy/psychostimulant drug users, but rather comprises annual samples of sentinel groups of users with similar characteristics, which allow trends in drug markets to be tracked over time. The EDRS cannot provide information on rates of drug use among regular ecstasy users (REU) and regular psychostimulant users (RPU) in the general population.


This report provides findings for the 13th year of data collection in WA. The WA arm of the EDRS ultimately aims to monitor trends in the Perth ERD markets and investigate harms associated with ERD use. The 2015 WA EDRS revealed ongoing fluctuations in drug markets and signs of drug-related harms which are discussed in the report.