The Government Are Sifting Through Our Poo To Test For Drugs
The things you learn...
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission have turned to wastewater to get an accurate picture of what drugs Australians are taking.
And we really pity those who had to scour enough different sewerage areas to get an accurate sample size - especially considering the August 2017 collection covers approximately 61% of the national population.
54 wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated with samples covering 14 substances - collected in April, June and August 2017.
That's A LOT of wastewater to test.
So what are the drugs of choice of Aussies?
Obviously alcohol and nicotine are the two highest consumed substances.
Scarily, Methylamphetamine is the most prevalent illicit drug tested - both in cities and regional sites.
Coke, Heroin and MDMA were more popular in cities, MDA, oxycodone and fentanyl were more frequently used in regional areas.
“The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides our government, law enforcement agencies, and the community with a clear evidence base for which drugs are being consumed across Australia,” ACIC CEO Michael Phelan APM said.
“Understanding trends and emerging issues in the illicit drug market, both nationally and at a state and territory level, gives the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and our partners an opportunity to shape the most effective, targeted response to drug demand and supply—particularly in high-use areas."
The one main illicit drug missing from the study was of course cannabis.
Junkee went straight to the source at ACIC to see why it was not recorded as part of the study, and the answer makes total sense.
“Cannabis is not covered by the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program as advice from the universities is that there are significant technical difficulties in arriving at accurate measures of its level of use due to the ways in which is breaks down in the sewer system, among other technical reasons,” the ACIC said.
Well, there you go.
Even our excrement is helping the government form an idea about our great country...