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Meth the outlier as WA cannabis, cocaine use soars during pandemic

The first snapshot of Australia’s drug consumption since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown cocaine and cannabis use at record levels in capital cities, while methamphetamine use plunged by almost half in Perth.

Wastewater analysis for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s drug monitoring program report, released on Thursday, showed New South Wales had the highest average cocaine use in the country, South Australia the highest average meth use, and Victoria the highest average heroin use.

The use of illicit substances rose in Perth during the pandemic – except for meth.

The use of illicit substances rose in Perth during the pandemic – except for meth.Credit:Shannon Morris

Alcohol consumption initially dropped after restrictions were imposed but increased rapidly once they eased, while nicotine use remained stable.

Methamphetamine use, which had risen since the program began in 2016, declined sharply in every capital city once the pandemic started, with the sharpest fall in Perth, where average use almost halved since the previous report in April, which could be attributed to the state’s hard border stance.

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