Embargo: 9:00AM Friday 8 July 2016
Use and possession offences by drug type in Victoria
The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) has today released its fifth ‘in brief’ research paper titled What drug types drove increases in drug use and possession offences in Victoria over the past decade?
The research shows that while cannabis accounted for almost 40% of all drug use and possession offences recorded in the year to March 2016, over the past five years there have been significant increases in the rates of ecstasy, methamphetamine, prescription and ‘other’ drug offences. The only decrease over the past five years was in the rate of use or possess amphetamine offences. Use and possession of heroin offences remained stable from 2006 to 2016.
CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said that while previous CSA research has shown that rates of drug use and possession offences increased in regional Victoria at a faster rate than elsewhere in the state, this new research highlights which drug types drove those changes.
“In 2012, cannabis was the only drug type that had higher rates of offending in regional Victoria compared to metropolitan Melbourne. Over the past five years however, we have seen the rates of amphetamine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and prescription drug use and possession offences in regional centres overtake those seen in Melbourne.”
In addition, the paper released today provides insight into the differences in the characteristics of offenders recorded for use and possession offences for different drug types. Approximately 1 in 5 drug use and possession offenders were female. Additionally, at the time of their first offence cannabis users were more likely to be either younger (aged 10-19) or older (45 or older), while ecstasy offenders were more likely to be 20 to 29 years of age. Heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drug offenders were more likely to be over 25 when they first offended.
Further information can be found on the CSA website: http://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/research-and-evaluation/publications/drug-and-alcohol-use-and-crime/what-drug-types-drove-increases
For further information please contact:
Manager, Research and Evaluation
Phone: 03 8684 1828