Sydney: The Cokehead Capital of Australia
I’m not going to lie to you, of all the things I thought I would be writing about in 2018, the government sifting through our shit to see what drugs we’ve been bingeing on was not high on the list. In fact, unsurprisingly, it wasn’t even on the list.
But that’s what the world has come to, folks. The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program – or as I like to call it, ‘The Aussie Dunny Dig-around’ – is an initiative commissioned by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to measure and interpret our drug use. Move over lock-out laws, there’s a new Big Brother in town.
In March, the fourth of nine reports was issued, detailing the most recent findings of the University of Queensland and the University of South Australia from 45 wastewater sites across the country. 12 substances were monitored and the report covers around 54 per cent of the population. In other words, the dunny water of around 12.7 million Australians was monitored by our government.
Unsurprisingly, alcohol and nicotine continue to be the most consumed drugs in Australia. As for the illegal stuff, methamphetamine remains the highest consumed illicit drug across the country and usage has actually increased since August 2017. So, if you’ve ever considered doing a Walter White, now’s as good a time as any to break out the old yellow hazmat suit and start cooking.
Meanwhile, Sydney has achieved the highest levels of cocaine consumption across the entire country – not surprising really, considering that it’s probably easier to get your hands on a bag of the white stuff than it is to buy a bottle of wine from your local bottle-o after 10pm.
Of course that f*ckwit muscle-douche you met at your local last Saturday, who talked about himself non-stop at an almost uninterpretable speed, was snorting his chops off. Even the most image-conscious of the Eastern Suburbs backpacker crowd are not that naturally self-involved, and no sober person runs off to the bathroom at such intense intervals and with such vigour unless they’ve got a debilitating bout of IBS.
When you think about it, most Friday and Saturday nights you’ve had in the Eastern Suburbs (or any night, for that matter) will suddenly start to make sense – everyone’s coked up to the eyeballs. Why else would so many people wilfully cram themselves into some of the seedier joints that remain open after 2am? You’ve gotta burn that excess energy somehow, right?
But Sydneysiders are not the only ones dabbling with drugs religiously. While the report shows that cocaine and heroin consumption on average was higher in capital cities across the nation, it also revealed that meth, MDMA, oxycodone and fentanyl consumption on average was higher in regional areas. You might think you’re super cool with your credit card and a rolled up fifty, but apparently hicks love a high too.
Anyway, here’s a run-down of how drug-f*cked our country was in December 2017…
Methamphetamine: South Australia had the highest estimated average capital city consumption, while Western Australia had the highest regional consumption.
Cocaine: Capital city averages across the country were almost double the regional average of cocaine consumption, with Sydney ‘achieving’ the highest levels.
MDMA: The Northern Territory had the highest capital city consumption, with New South Wales and Queensland having the highest regional consumption.
Oxycodone: Twice as much oxy was consumed on average in regional areas than in capital cities. Tassie had the highest city consumption, while Victoria had the highest regionally.
Heroin: The ACT and Victoria had the highest capital city consumption and New South Wales had the highest regional levels.
Alcohol: Alcohol consumption is on the rise. Hicks and townies seem to love the grog as much as each other, with no significant differences recorded between regional and city consumption. The Northern Territory had the highest capital city consumption, while Tassie had the highest regional levels.
All jokes aside, wastewater analysis is used globally as a means of measuring drug use. The data is supplied to government agencies and not-for-profits so that they can tackle and prevent the major drug issues affecting our communities. So just remember, next time you’re enjoying your Friday arvo drinks surrounded by the gurners and grog guzzlers… Big Brother is watching.