The stunning dominance of methamphetamine in illicit drug use in New Zealand and the higher use of the party drug ecstasy in the South Island has been revealed by the first-ever batch of nationwide wastewater tests.
Police on Tuesday released the results of three months testing (November to January) for meth, cocaine, heroin, MDMA/ecstasy and fentanyl at 37 wastewater plants taking in 80 per cent of New Zealand’s population.
The results showed an overwhelming dominance of methamphetamine with nationwide use equating to $1 billion a year and an estimated $20 million per week in social harm.
Assistant commissioner Richard Chambers said 16 kilograms a week of meth across 80 per cent of the population “was a lot” and disappointing. He described the data as the “best information we have ever had”.