It has been found out that Australia uses a lot of ice. Here is where we stand in the world.
Australia’s drug use hasn’t been stopped by COVID lockdowns. In fact, a new report shows that meth use has grown since the pandemic.
New data shows that Australians use ice more than people in some parts of Europe and Asia. This is because the drug is very addictive, which drives demand and use even during pandemic lockdowns.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s report on monitoring drugs in sewage shows that Australia has the highest rate of ice use per person out of the 24 countries in Europe and Asia that took part in sewage analysis studies.
Australia’s use of methylamphetamine, which is called “ice” when it’s in crystal form, is higher than that of the Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, and Slovakia, according to data from March and April 2021.
Reports from the long-term study show that the number of people using ice in Australia went up and down during the pandemic, but the drug market stayed strong.
Shane Neilson, the chief drugs adviser for the commission, told AAP that one of the problems is that people can become dependent on the crystal form of drugs very quickly.
“Once they’re addicted, they can take it every day or even several times a day.”
Many people in the health field have asked the NSW government to respond to a 2018 inquiry into the use of the drug ice, which showed how bad it is for society as a whole.
This week, Professor Adrian Dunlop, a spokesman for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, said that drug policy reform is needed right away.
“If these important reforms aren’t put into place soon, it will cost lives and jobs,” he said.
Based on the monitoring of 56 wastewater plants in December and February, the new national data showed that for the first time since April 2017, more ice, cocaine, and ecstasy were used in Australia’s cities than in the country.
Neilson said that was likely because drugs from other countries were getting into cities while it was harder to get to rural areas during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The analysis of about 13 million Australians found that more alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and the opioid drugs oxycodone and fentanyl were used in the regions than in the cities.
Health and law enforcement agencies keep an eye on the illegal use of opioids so that it doesn’t get as bad as it did in the US, where tens of thousands of overdoses caused a public health emergency.
Neilson said that when family, friends, and dealers sell prescription opioids, they end up on the black market.
“But in Australia, we have a lot going for us. It’s much harder for drug companies to market like they did in North America, and they can’t work as closely with doctors and pharmacists,” he said.
Alcohol and nicotine were the most common drugs, as they have been for a long time. People in the countryside drank and smoked more than those in the cities.
During the pandemic, there were more people seeking help for alcoholism, according to drug rehab centers.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education said last month that 25,000 people would call the national drug and alcohol hotline in 2021. This is three times as many as in the years before the epidemic.
Professor Dan Lubman from the addiction center Turning Point said that loosening the rules won’t solve the problem.
“The pandemic has had a big impact on all parts of our society and will continue to do so for years to come.”