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Meth still WA’s drug of choice, as last year’s gains go up in smoke

By Heather McNeill and Emma Young

Western Australia’s methamphetamine use has risen to again be among the highest rates in the country, fresh data shows.

The Australian Crime Intelligence Commission said meth accounted for 88.2 per cent of illicit drugs used by WA residents – the highest percentage in the country.

Sample testing of waste water from December 2018, which covered around 54 per cent of the population, revealed West Australians consumed around 60 doses of meth (per day, per 1000 people).

This was double the 30 that reported in early February 2018, though still below a peak of 75 in 2016.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the data from ACIC’s National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program showed the government’s methamphetamine action plan, launched this year, was working.

“What the analysis did not portray is the fact that meth use in Western Australia is 25 per cent down on the peaks that we had in 2016,” he said.

“We also need to take these reports with a pinch of salt.

“It doesn’t actually tell you who’s using meth and how much meth they’re using.

“The methamphetamine action taskforce report clearly identified that, even though we are having less people using meth, they’re using a much higher potency and they’re using more of it.”

The national report said, however, that both Adelaide and WA had a “sudden drop-off” in February 2018, and while this had remained a striking feature in Adelaide it had been reversed in WA, with usage starting to “return to historical levels”.

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