NT alcohol consumption rising towards pre-minimum floor price level: ACIC report

by | Jun 30, 2022 | Alice, News | 0 comments

The Northern Territory had a temporary decrease in alcohol consumption following the introduction of a minimum unit price on alcohol in October 2018, however consumption “appears” to have increased since then towards the pre-intervention level, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said its drug monitoring wastewater analysis program reports shows.

The report said the NT had highest overall alcohol in December 2021 tests, with Hobart having the next highest capital city consumption, while New South Wales, and Queensland were the highest regional consumers of alcohol outside of the Territory.

“In December 2021, the Northern Territory had the highest estimated average capital city and regional consumption of alcohol,” the report said.

The figure for alcohol consumption in Darwin was put at an estimated 2100 standard drinks per 1000 people per day, rising to 2600 for the un-named regional NT site that was tested. The ACIC said it would not disclose where the NT regional site was.

For comparison Melbourne and Adelaide had an estimated daily average consumption of 520 drinks per 1000 people per day.

The NT had only two test sites but they cover approximately 25 per cent of the population of the Northern Territory, the report said.

“The Northern Territory had a temporary decrease in alcohol consumption following the implementation of a minimum unit price on alcohol content from October 2018 (O’Brien 2021), however consumption appears to have increased since then towards pre-intervention levels,” the report said.

On October 1, 2018, the minimum unit price was set by the NT Government, at $1.30 per standard drink contained in the alcohol product.

The report also found the Northern Territory continues to have the highest per capita nicotine consumption, and Alice Spring residents are among the biggest marijuana smokers in the country.

But while Territorians continue to rank as the country’s highest in alcohol and nicotine use, the average amount of alcohol consumed decreased across the Territory.

However consumption of methylamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl had increased across the Territory, and compared to the rest of the country, the Territory had the highest average regional MDA use and the second-highest average MDMA consumption in a capital city.

ASIC chief executive officer Michael Phelan said testing was undertaken every few months to keep tabs on organised crime activity.

“Through wastewater analysis we gain insight into the serious and organised crime groups that supply illicit drug markets,” Mr Phelan said.

“Organised crime groups have redoubled their efforts to supply the major illicit drug markets as COVID-19 restrictions eased, generating much of the harm that Australians suffer at the hands of organised crime is due to illicit drugs.”

 

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