Drug testing the waters in Queensland

Drug testing in Queensland toilets is flushing out some interesting results. Credit Dean Hochman

Where do we conduct drug testing in Queensland? Most of us probably know we test on our roads, in workplaces and on our waters but you probably didn’t know we also drug test the water that comes out of your toilet!

It’s all part of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, which has been conducted across Australia for the past three years. The drug testing isn’t conducted to catch out individuals (which might be comforting to know if you do take drugs), but to conduct valuable research on Australian’s habits when it comes to illegal and legal drugs.

The research is carried out for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission by the University of Queensland. Recently it was reported that the program and the University of Queensland’s involvement has been extended by a further four years.

In Queensland, the most recent round of the wastewater drug testing threw up some interesting results:

  • Queensland has the dubious honour of having the highest average regional consumption and second highest capital city consumption of fentanyl.
  • Queensland also had the highest average regional consumption of MDA and the second highest capital city consumption of MDMA.
  • Plus, our state had the second highest regional consumption of cocaine in Australia.

Ten wastewater sites were monitored as part of the drug testing in Queensland for the latest report; three Brisbane sites and seven regional sites.

Nationally, the drug testing has allowed researches to estimate that 11.5 tonnes of methylamphetamine was consumed annually in Australia during the third year of the program, as well as 4.6 tonnes of cocaine, 2.2 tonnes of MDMA, and more than 900 kilograms of heroin. If you think that’s a lot of illegal drugs, you’d be right, and it adds up to be a big expense, with Australians estimated to have spent $11.3 billion on methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin from August 2018 to August 2019. Of this, $8.63 billion was spent on methylamphetamine.

Drug testing in Queensland workplaces

You won’t find Integrity Sampling’s consultants lurking around your toilet or the state’s wastewater treatment facilities (and we’re thankful for that!). But you may see us in workplaces conducting drug testing in Queensland.

Integrity Sampling has locations in Queensland in Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Winton, plus we also have a technician on the Gold Coast.

All our locations can provide our full range of services, which includes drug testing and alcohol testing.

Phone Integrity Sampling on 1300 SALIVA for further information.


Drug testing in Queensland toilets is flushing out some interesting results. Credit Dean Hochman https://www.flickr.com/photos/deanhochman/16995650680/ and color line https://bit.ly/2veUOC8 (images modified).

By John

John is the Queensland Manager of Integrity Sampling QLD and is based in the Brisbane office. Integrity Sampling provides its range of drug and alcohol management services, including drug and alcohol testing, right across the state. You can connect with John Lorenzen on LinkedIn

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