Regional towns continue to be scourged by drugs.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has revealed methylamphetamine consumption has increased in regional areas.
The fourth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program which was released this month shows an increase in the use of the drug in regional Victoria.
‘‘It is highly concerning ... this destructive drug is having a terrible impact not only on users, but on families, first responders, health practitioners and the community more broadly,’’ Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief executive Michael Phelan said.
The monitoring program provides a picture of changing trends in the consumption of methylamphetamine and 11 other drugs across Australia.
‘‘Armed with this information, government, health and law enforcement agencies can better target policy and operational responses and reduce the impact of drugs in our society,’’ he said.
While methylamphetamine consumption has increased in regional areas, consumption has decreased in capital cities.
‘‘It is also pleasing to see that MDMA and heroin consumption decreased across regional and capital city sites between August and December 2017,’’ Mr Phelan said.
The monitoring program found that of the substances tested in December 2017 in Victoria:
■Nicotine and alcohol remain the substances consumed most;
■Average methylamphetamine consumption decreased in capital city sites and increased in regional sites;
■Average cocaine consumption decreased in capital city sites and increased in regional sites;
■Average MDMA consumption decreased in capital city and regional sites;
■Average heroin consumption decreased in capital city and regional sites;
■Victoria had the highest average regional consumption of oxycodone in the country.