INDEPENDENT NEWS

Drug monitoring program extended - Australia

Published: Wed 28 Sep 2005 10:15 PM
Drug monitoring program extended
The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, has announced an increased $360,000 funding for the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program which is managed by the Australian Institute of Criminology.
Senator Ellison said this expenditure is to be made available from the Proceeds of Crime Fund and will enable DUMA to be extended to include one new site in Darwin and one new site in Melbourne.
“As an ongoing data collection, the DUMA program has already provided important information on trends in heroin and methylamphetamine use in Australia,” Senator Ellison said.
“The two additional sites will give us a much better picture of illicit drug use amongst police detainees across the country, as well as timely information on local drug use and markets.”
The program currently operates at seven sites throughout Australia, Adelaide City and Elizabeth in South Australia, Bankstown and Parramatta in New South Wales, Brisbane City and Southport in Queensland and East Perth in Western Australia.
Quarterly data collection over the current seven sites provides empirical, timely and long term trend data on illicit drug use among people arrested and brought to a police station or watchhouse.
“The link between offending and drug use is clearly shown by DUMA results, which are based on self-reported crime and drug use, along with urinalysis results,” Senator Ellison said.
“During 2004, just under half of all police detainees interviewed reported using drugs just prior to their arrest and 61 per cent of those charged with a property offence tested positive to an illicit drug.”
DUMA has been in operation since 1999 and is currently funded by the Australian Government’s National Illicit Drug Strategy and the Elizabeth site by the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department.

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