Sewage analysis shows ice use on the rise

Use of the drug ice (methamphetamine) has jumped dramatically in Australia over the past five years, research suggests.

Measuring the amount of illicit substances present in human waste is a useful way to monitor their consumption in an objective, albeit unsavoury, manner.

Researchers from the University of Queensland have shown that the amount of methamphetamine in wastewater tripled between 2010 and 2015 in both urban and regional areas of south-east Queensland (see infograph below).

This rise is consistent with increases in ice-related arrests,