Cocaine use rises across New Zealand, wastewater testing shows

Cocaine use has increased across New Zealand, an Aotearoa-wide wastewater study shows, with the highest levels found in Auckland.

The police's wastewater testing programme analyses daily wastewater at 10 sample sites across New Zealand.

Newshub reports on average, the programme analyses samples one week of each month for traces of methamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine. The latest results cover October to December last year (Q4). 

"Cocaine consumption across sample sites increased in Q4 2022 to an average of 1.6 kilograms per week. This was above the average quantity consumed per week over the previous four quarters (156 percent or 1kg above)," police said. 

The results showed Auckland "continued to consume the most cocaine per capita consuming an average of 120 mg/day/1000 people. This was above the average calculated from all sites (67 mg/day/1000 people)".

That trend was also observed in the previous quarter's findings, which showed Aucklanders were consuming 69mg a day per 1000 people. 

Methamphetamine in the Q4 analysis showed continued signs of decreased use, dropping to "an average of 13kg per week. This was [17 percent] below the average quantity consumed per week over the previous four quarters". The highest amount of meth was found in Northland and Waikato wastewater.


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