REPORT: Australia's drug trade is at a record high

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In a report by the Australian Crime Commission, over 112,000 illicit drug arrests and 93,000 illicit drug seizures were made in Australia from 2013-14 — the highest ever on record.

National drug arrests reported a 10 percent increase on the previous year with 66,684 of these arrests made for cannabis alone.

Cannabis is dominating the Australian illicit drug market as the leading illicit drug in Australia in terms of seizures, arrests and use.

“Serious and organised criminals are at the centre of the Australian illicit drug market. Motivated by greed and power, many of these groups and individuals use the illicit drug market as their primary income stream, profiting from the misery illicit drugs inflict on the nation,” says CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, Chris Dawson.

“Methylamphetamine is wreaking havoc in every state and territory. It is ruining lives, families and communities.”

Whilst Dawson says that the “methylamphetamine market is the primary concern” a record number of arrests were also made in relation to cocaine, steroids, hallucinogen and amphetamine-type stimulants.

Illicit drug use is fast becoming one of Australia’s biggest addictions along with alcohol and tobacco, according to the world’s first report on global addictions by the University of Adelaide.

Cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug used in Australia, says Associate Professor Linda Gowing, with 10.3% of Australians smoking cannabis at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 5-7% in the UK,

The report also found that 3% of Australians use ecstasy, compared to 1.1-1.7% of people in the UK.

As part of its 2015 Federal Budget, the government will invest $20 million from 2015-16 to renew the National Drugs Campaign to promote the avoidance of illicit drug use and raise awareness of the harms caused by drugs such as ‘ice’.

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