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Here Are The Most Popular Drugs In Your Australian Capital City

13 July 2023 | 2:12 pm | Jessie Lynch

Where exactly does your city stand when it comes to hitting the bongs, getting on the bags, and everything in between?

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Pineapple Express (YouTube)

Recent wastewater testing has unveiled the most commonly used drugs in various Australian capital cities, and you just may be surprised when it comes to what the results are for your city.

The latest national wastewater drug monitoring report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has unveiled some intriguing findings after gathering data through wastewater conducted at 57 treatment plants in capital cities and regional areas between December 2022 and February 2023 (as per The Guardian).

Despite a string of major drug busts, drug use in Australia actually rose over the summer, with the increased use of drugs like ice, cocaine, MDMA and ketamine posing an “ongoing threat posed by serious and organised crime groups and their responsiveness to perceived market opportunities”.

The commission’s acting chief executive, Matt Rippon, said it was important to remind Australians that their illicit drug habits fund organised crime.

“The sole beneficiaries of this increased consumption are serious and organised crime groups which make significant profits from their illegal activities,” Rippon said.

The latest wastewater tests come following the 2023 World Drug Report, published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which noted that Australia and New Zealand remain the "highest worldwide" users of cocaine, as both supply and demand for the drug is on the rise

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So where exactly does your city stand when it comes to hitting the bongs, getting on the bags, and everything in between? Check out some of the results below.


When it comes to partying, Sydneysiders don't mess around. Wastewater tests have revealed that the city came on top when it comes to consuming the most cocaine, MDMA and nicotine. Sydney also ranked second for MDA and meth use. Are we even surprised?


Worryingly, Melburnians were the biggest users of heroin, the dissociative drug ketamine, as well as the deadly drug fentanyl, an opioid pain medicine that is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.

Melbourne also ranked second when it comes to cocaine consumption.


While Brisbane didn’t rank number one for any of the tested substances, it did rank second when it comes to the use of fentanyl and ketamine.


Perth ranked first when it came to the use of the drug MDA - a synthetic stimulant-psychedelic similar to MDMA with slightly different effects.


South Australia’s hotspot worryingly saw the biggest use of methylamphetamine (aka meth/ice). It’s disappointing considering that last year’s wastewater tests saw the city lose its number ranking to Perth for the first time in several years.


The Tasmanian capital city registered the highest consumption of cannabis and oxycodone - a potent, prescription-only opioid medicine used to relieve severe pain that’s not usually recommended for the treatment of chronic (long-term) pain.


Despite bringing in harsh alcohol restrictions earlier this year, including a ban on alcohol sales on Mondays and Tuesdays, the city ranked first when it came to the consumption of alcohol.


Canberrans were the second-highest users of heroin and oxycodone despite an overall decrease in the national consumption of the drugs.