Drug report released


The state's peak body on drug use is urging a sceptical approach to new data which shows cannabis, MDMA, oxycodone, and fentanyl use in Tasmania are soaring.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission wastewater report showed we had the highest average capital city consumption of those 4 drugs.

It analysed a total of 5 plants in Tasmania, three in Hobart and 2 in regional areas.

CEO of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs council Alison Lai says the results have to be taken with a grain of salt.

"While they help us monitor the prevalence of licit and illicit drugs across Tasmania, how we use it is so important, because while it tells us that a range of drugs are being used, including alcohol, they don't actually tell us very much about how or why someone is taking those drugs," she said.

She says it's useful information but lacks some key details.

"What we don't know is whereabouts in the state they're taking these results from and we're unaware about the type of population groups that might be there," she said.

"So being able to use that as an indication of an overall trend for the state can be a little be tricky and we're certainly very cautious when we're looking at these results."

Ms Lai also pointed out that oxycodone and fentanyl are prescribed medication so it's unfair to use them as an indicator for drug abuse, if doctors are telling people to take them. 

"The ATDC is aware that here in Tasmania and across the nation we are seeing an increase in the prescription of those particular pain-relief drugs and so that would obviously mean that when we do these wastewater reports, we would anticipate an increase in those drugs being found in this system."

The report showed ice use is trending up in the state while cannabis and alcohol, despite still being commonly used, are on the decline.

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