- Supply reduction strategies to disrupt or reduce the production and supply of illegal drugs; and control, manage and/or regulate the availability of legal drugs;
- Demand reduction strategies to prevent or delay the uptake of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; reduce substance misuse and support people to recover from dependence and reintegrate with the community; and
- Harm reduction strategies to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
National Drug Strategy
- target those involved in illicit drug supply;
- aim to make illicit drugs less available;
- provide drug offenders with opportunities to address drug problems;
- increase the likelihood of people seeking treatment; and
- reinforce the message that illicit drug use is not condoned by the community.
Drug Programs and Initiatives
Police drug diversion strategies
1. Cannabis Cautioning Scheme
2. Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT)
3. Diversion under the Young Offenders Act 1997
4. Adult Drug Court
Types of illicit drugs
Definitions via Your Room. A joint initiative by NSW Health and St Vincent's Alcohol and Drug Information Service.
Ecstasy tablets are supposedly made up of the primary ingredient methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), but as the ingredients required to make synthetic drugs are becoming more difficult to obtain, the formulation of pills marketed as ecstasy can vary greatly. They are more likely to contain methamphetamine (speed) combined with a synthetic hallucinogen or para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA). More informtion
Marijuana (cannabis) primarily comes from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). The cannabis plant is also used to produce hashish (hash) and hash oil. Of the three, marijuana (cannabis) is the most common but all forms of the drug are capable of causing a variety of physical and mental problems resulting from intoxication and long-term use. More information
Methylamphetamine is a strong stimulant drug. The drug comes as crystals, powder, wet paste and sometimes pills. ‘Ice’ and ‘crystal’ are names for methylamphetamine in its crystalline form. ‘Speed’, ‘go-ee’, ‘whiz’ and ‘meth’ are other names for methylamphetamine. All forms of methylamphetamine are illegal. More information
Cocaine, or coke as it is commonly known, is a stimulant and has a similar effect to amphetamines like speed and ice, but produces a more intense effect and shorter ‘high’ depending upon dosage. Cocaine is a white crystalline powder with a bitter numbing taste. More information
GHB is a drug commonly found in the dance scene and is sometimes referred to as liquid ecstasy due to its stimulating, euphoric and supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Chemically-speaking, it is not related to MDMA at all. Mildly salty in flavour, yet colourless and odorless, it’s also used a date-rape drug – when mixed with alcohol, it can intoxicate quickly. More information
Heroin is one of a group of drugs known as "opiates". Other opiates include opium, morphine, codeine, pethidine, oxycodone, buprenorphine and methadone. Heroin and other opiates are depressants. Depressants do not necessarily make you feel depressed. Rather, they slow down the activity of the central nervous system and messages going between the brain and the body. More information
New Psychoactive Substances
There is a wide range of other drugs out there that are just as dangerous as the more commonly used ecstasy or marijuana. These drugs include depressants (such as sleeping pills), hallucinogens like LSD, ketamine or inhalants. While they are legal, alcohol and tobacco are also drugs that can have dangerous consequences if misused. More information
Signs of Drug Supply and Manufacturing
Seven telltale indicators of drug manufacturing and supply
- Strange odours emanating from the property
- Diverted electricity
- Chemical containers and waste
- Blacked out windows
- Hoses and pipes in strange places
- Blinds down, with extremely bright indoor lighting radiating through gaps
- Vehicles arriving at odd hours
How To Report Illegal Drugs
What to do if you suspect drugs are being made or supplied in your community
Police urge anyone with information about suspicious drug-related activity to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page. Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidenceWhat to do if you find illegal drugs
If you find drugs, you should immediately telephone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 who will arrange for police to attend and collect the drugs. You should not touch or move the drugs.
The following agencies and surveys produce some of the data that informs the NSW Police Force response to drugs:
- The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) monitors the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of illicit drugs such as heroin, methylamphetamine, cocaine and pharmaceutical opioids among urban samples of people who use drugs nationally.
- The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) monitors the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of illicit drugs such as ecstasy, methylamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, GHB, LSD and NPS among people who regularly use ecstasy (MDMA).
- The Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey provides information on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal and legal drugs amongst 12 to 17 year olds, and their attitudes toward these substances.
- Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Illicit Drug Data Reports provide annual statistical overviews of illicit drug arrests and seizures as well as profiling the current situation, national impact and the emerging illicit drug trends and threats. The ACC also publishes annual Organised Crime in Australia assessments.
- The Australian Institute of Criminology undertakes research on a range of issues including links between drug use and criminal activity and patterns of drug use amongst police detainees.
- The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) is the official source of NSW crime information. BOCSAR uses NSW Police Force data and data from other sources.
- The National Drug Research Institute and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (and its associated Drug Policy Modelling Program) undertake a range of research projects that aim to improve Australia’s evidence base and policy direction.
- The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
- Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC)
- Alcohol and Drug Foundation
- Your Room – provides drug and alcohol information and advice, campaigns and resources.