Examining methamphetamine use in South Australia

February 2019

Mr Roger Nicholas

Professor Ann Roche

Mr Allan Trifonoff

Ms Kirsten Ryan

Project description: 

NCETA has been commissioned by South Australia Police (SAPOL) to examine potential contributory factors to Adelaide’s apparently high rates of methamphetamine use.

In particular, SAPOL is interested in exploring:

  • The high level of methamphetamine use within Adelaide indicated by wastewater testing conducted by the Universities of Queensland and South Australia at the behest of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)
  • The ways in which supply-side market activities (e.g., national border interdiction practices in South Australia and SAPOL drug law enforcement activities) impact the supply of methamphetamine to the state
  • Whether demand for methamphetamine is influenced by population characteristics (e.g., whether the South Australian population has demographic characteristics which are associated with a higher demand for methamphetamine).

In conducting this research, NCETA will:

  • Examine the results and coverage of the wastewater testing program across Australia
  • Consult key experts responsible for funding, conducting and analysing wastewater testing in Australia
  • Examine relevant databases to more closely study trends and patterns of methamphetamine use, harms patterns and seizures in South Australia
  • Examine National Drug Strategy Household Survey data and Australian Bureau of Statistics data regarding the relationship between the demographic characteristics of South Australians and methamphetamine use
  • Examine South Australian drug treatment data in relation to methamphetamine use.

NCETA previously discussed the use of wastewater analysis and its implications for AOD policy and practice in an Opinion piece for the May 2018 edition of Drug and Alcohol Research Connections. Click here to access that article.