There is a recognised opportunity for more systematic and timely triangulation of existing data to rapidly assess and identify emerging illicit drug trends in Australia. The overarching aim of this scoping study was to determine the feasibility of establishing an Australian early warning system (EWS). The objectives were to:

  1. Identify existing data sources routinely collected and collated; and
  2. Identify and describe the data sources feasible for inclusion in an EWS.

Given indications of feasibility, the following objectives also applied to those data sources that met feasibility criteria:

  1. Describe coverage across drugs and outcomes of interest; 
  2. Identify and describe other data sources (not yet collated) for inclusion to address gaps in coverage; 
  3. Identify and describe analytic and triangulation approaches and mode of availability; and
  4. Develop a proposal for a pilot study of an EWS.

This commissioned report was prepared in 2017. It was provided to the Australian Government Minister for Health in November, 2017. Permission for public release was granted in February, 2020. To the authors’ knowledge, information contained in this report was correct at the time of submission. No subsequent revisions have been made. 



Peacock, A., Farrell, M., Muscat, C., & Degenhardt, L.
Date Commenced
19 Mar 2020
Resource Type
Technical Reports