Drug use has been noted as on the rise in Australia according to an article published earlier in the year by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). The article references the the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report. The report provides accurate statistics on drug use and distribution across a large number of cities and regional areas.
While police action to take drugs off the streets has increased and record seizures have been made, there remains a consistent problem with drug use, particularly in relation to methamphetamine and cocaine. Methamphetamine is the most commonly used illegal drug across Australia with an estimated 8.3 tonnes consumed in 2017. This equals an average of 40 does per 1,000 people per day.
It was noted as being the third most common drug overall behind alcohol and nicotine.
Other popular stimulants that were highlighted in the report as being prevalent in Australia included cocaine, MDMA and heroin. Cocaine and heroin use was noted as being higher in the major cities with methamphetamine use higher in the rural, regional areas.
Key cities highlighted in the report where Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide which where the highest for use of ecstasy, fentanyl and cocaine respectively.
With drug use on the rise in Australia but also globally it highlights the need for an effective testing programme at both national and regional level. One method that is used regularly throughout the world is Randox Biochip Array Technology.
Biochip Technology is commonly used to consolidate testing onto one platform. Based on ELISA principles, the Biochip is a solid state device with discrete test sites onto which antibodies specific to different drug compounds are immobilised and stabilised. Competitive chemiluminescent immunoassays are then employed, offering a highly sensitive screen.
Designed to work across a wide variety of matrices, this revolutionary multi-analyte testing platform allows toxicologists to achieve a complete immunoassay profile in the initial screening phase.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) : https://www.racgp.org.au/newsGP/Clinical/Australian-drug-use-on-the-rise