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Adelaide Named As The Meth Capital Of The World

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Adelaide Named As The Meth Capital Of The World

Featured Image Credit: PA

South Australia has loads to boast about. Not only does it have a beautiful, sprawling wine region known as the Barossa Valley but it also the biggest producer of wind power in the whole of Australia.

But now the state's capital has a not so fun title to add to the list: the meth capital of the world.

Not just Australia, Adelaide has the highest of concentration of meth found in wastewater samples compared to anywhere on the planet.

A massive study that took samples from 120 cities across seven years looked at how much methamphetamine was found in each area's wastewater and Adelaide was far in front.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to the research, which has been published in the journal Addiction and is the largest study of its kind, Adelaide had between 507 and 659 milligrams of methamphetamine per 1,000 people in 2017.

While it's hard to understand just how much that is, it's clear that the city is the leader.

Second place was awarded to Seattle in Washington, which recorded 418mg on average over the three years. That was the only to take American city in the study, which was mainly focused in Europe.

Canberra and Toowoomba were the only other Australian cities that took part as well. They recorded 270 and 331mg of methamphetamine in their wastewater respectively.

University of South Australia research associate Richard Bade was involved in the study and wants to highlight that while it's a concern that Adelaide hit number one, meth use is going down in the city.

"It's important we determine the scale of the illicit drug market so that countries can work out the best way to tackle a $100 billion industry, which is contributing to the global burden of disease and affecting the economic development of many countries," he told the ABC.

Credit: Adam.J.W.C./Creative Commons
Credit: Adam.J.W.C./Creative Commons

"To put into a bit of context, the study was from 2017 and in fact since that time methamphetamine use in South Australia has actually been on the decrease.

"And there's been plenty of initiatives around that reduction of methamphetamine use in Adelaide [since 2017]."

The study didn't just look at the amount of methamphetamine sitting in people's wastewater; it also had a peek at other drugs.

Unsurprisingly, London came out on top in terms of cocaine use, with Bristol, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Antwerp in Belgium, and Zurich, Geneva and St Gallen in Switzerland also registering high marks.

Belgium and the Netherlands had the highest rates of amphetamines like MDMA and ecstasy.

Topics: News, Drugs, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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