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Wastewater analysis for estimating substance use: implications for law, policy and research


Prichard, J and Lai, FY and van Dyken, E and Thai, P and Bruno, R and Hall, W and Kirkbride, P and Gartner, C and O'Brien, J and Mueller, JM, Wastewater analysis for estimating substance use: implications for law, policy and research, Journal of Law and Medicine, 24, (4) pp. 837-849. ISSN 1320-159X (2017) [Refereed Article]

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This article seeks to encourage informed cross-disciplinary discourse about wastewater analysis (WWA) – a method of estimating substance use in very large populations through analysing samples of sewage water. The article examines Australia’s policy platform for responding to substance use, the National Drug Strategy (NDS). It then considers the evidence-base underpinning the NDS, particularly the metrics that are provided by national drug-monitoring systems. The article discusses the strengths of WWA and suggests the method could usefully augment existing monitoring systems. To demonstrate the flexibility, efficiency and scope of WWA, the article presents key findings from the first national WWA study, which encapsulated sewage samples from approximately 40% of the Australian population. Opportunities for WWA to inform time-sensitive issues in particular communities are explored. The article encourages health and criminal justice portfolios to engage with WWA to ensure that it is put to best effect for policy purposes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:wastewater analysis, drug, illicit, methamphetamine, consumption, use, community market
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Prichard, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Prichard)
UTAS Author:van Dyken, E (Miss Emma van Dyken)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:117447
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2017-06-14
Last Modified:2018-05-21
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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