Associate Professor Caitlin Hughes presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 28 October 2021.

This webinar outlined a pilot project funded by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission on wastewater analysis in one location.

Wastewater analysis (WWA) has rapidly cemented itself as an important tool to capture trends in drug markets within and outside of Australia, based on the amount of drug residue detected in wastewater. Yet, researchers have increasingly called for this data to be triangulated against epidemiological surveys. This is because WWA can quantify the overall amount of drug used, but not in what circumstances drugs are used, information that is critical to interpret the data and inform policy and practice. This presentation will report results from a pilot study funded by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that that brought together wastewater analysis and a survey administered over the same time period (90-days) and location (one regional town in South Australia). Doing so will help to better understand areas of congruence and difference and the value add of combining both datasets for understanding drug market trends.


About the speaker

Caitlin Hughes is an Associate Professor in criminology and drug policy and Matthew Flinders Fellow at the Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University. Caitlin has spent 18 years researching drug and alcohol policy, including more than 12 years at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Her research seeks to advance Australian and international drug policy by improving the evidence-base into the effects of different legislative and law enforcement approaches to drug use and supply, and working directly with policy makers.

Please note: readers and audience are encouraged to go to the presenter’s published paper for the most fulsome account of the research and its findings. The relevant report will shortly be published here.

Date Commenced
28 Oct 2021
Resource Type
NDARC Seminars