Increases in national heroin seizures and arrests may indicate a potential expansion of the Australian heroin market.
Three out of the four largest seizures of heroin at the border were aimed at Sydney.
Afghanistan remains the dominant global producer of heroin.
There has been an expansion in the number of embarkation countries for heroin into Australia.
Victoria continues to account for almost half of the heroin arrests.
Heroin users continue to report heroin is easy to obtain and street prices are stable.
More than half of regular injecting drug users use heroin by choice.
(Source: Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2008/9 released 8 June 2010)
DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-
As the only injecting centre in Australia is in Sydney this may account for the high targeting of heroin imports and the low arrest figures.
Sydney needs to divert heroin users into detoxification and rehabilitation to get them free of use rather than maintaining heroin injecting.
Rehabilitation programs that are backed by court diversion programs that help users to quit will assist in starving international criminals of Australian funds and heroin users will benefit from improved physical and mental health.
International best practice has proven that rehabilitation is more successful than drug maintenance.