Common sense would dictate that if you want accurate statistics on methamphetamine use, you should assess the drug’s dosages before punters use ’em.
Science says the hell otherwise.
Researchers at the University of South Australia have sidestepped the logistical and legal rigmarole of tracking ice usage prior to consumption, ’cause they’ve been scouring Western Australia’s sewerage to gain an insight into the state’s drug usage.
Their findings are actually even more concerning than the fact it’s some poor schmoe’s job to collect the wastewater samples: after testing a year’s worth of sewerage, it’s been discovered nearly 32 kilos of the drug are used in Perth each week.
While their methods are nebulous – and, to be frank, the public might be better off not knowing their techniques – the results also reveal the drug’s use state-wide. The people of Bunbury go through 558 doses per 1,000 people, compared to 344 in Perth and 314 in Geraldton.
Test results from more rural locations are literally in the pipeline, but it is currently thought WA is going through about $2 billion worth of ice every year.
Notably, Police Minister Liza Harvey said the state has also been able to assess the real-world affect of drug busts. She said “we’ve seen spikes at certain points — when there’s been seizures made we see a dip in usage rates — and so we can determine if we’re actually interrupting the supply chain.”
Not a bad return from literal shit.