The traffic in, and abuse of, illicit drugs results in significant social and financial costs to both individuals and the community. To minimise the harm associated with illicit drug activity, there is close cooperation between the Australian Government, the state and territory governments, the various police services and other law enforcement agencies. Included in these agencies is the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service which has, among other things, responsibility for the enforcement of laws controlling the import and export of illicit drugs. These agencies direct particular attention to monitoring the various types and forms of illicit drugs and identifying emerging patterns of use through the analysis of law enforcement data on illicit drug seizures and arrests.
In 2007-08, by far the largest category of drug arrests involved cannabis offences, with 52,465 arrests, or 67% of the national total. The next largest category of arrests involved amphetamine offences, with 16,047 arrests, or 20% of the national total (table 13.11).
13.11 DRUG ARRESTS(a) - 2007-08
|Drug type |
|Heroin and other opioids |
|Amphetamine-type stimulants |
|Other and unknown(c) |
|(a) Total of each state and territory, including Australian Federal Police data. |
|(b) Includes infringement notices. |
|(c) Other drugs' includes phencyclidine (PCP or 'angel dust'), diazepam, lignocaine, benzocaine, dothiepin, flunitrazepam, other prescription drugs, and any drug not included elsewhere. |
|Source: Australian Crime Commission, 'Illicit Drug Data Report', 2007-08. |