The number of cocaine arrests in 2008/9 is the highest of the last decade.
The source of most cocaine arriving in Australia is Colombia.
The number of places of embarkation of cocaine to Australia has doubled in the last decade.
Cocaine shipments to Australia are larger in weight mainly arriving by sea cargo.
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey records that the proportion of the Australian population that had recently used cocaine is at its highest level since 1993.
(Source: Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2008/9 released 8 June 2010)
Australia has international obligations to reduce the demand for illicit drugs like cocaine.
Cocaine demand is high in Australia so we are a target for international criminals that seek to profit from this strong demand.
In order to take pressure off border protection agencies, Australian states and territories need to divert apprehended cocaine users into detoxification and rehabilitation.
Investment in rehabilitation programs that are backed by court diversion programs that help users to quit will assist in starving these international criminals of Australian funds.
As well cocaine users will benefit from improved physical and mental health.