Briefing paper: Upheavals in the Australian Drug Market: Heroin Drought, Stimulant Flood

Australia experienced extraordinary and unprecedented changes to its illicit drug market from the end of 2000. A ‘heroin drought’ made the media headlines and grabbed the attention of drug policy specialists across the world. Less widely publicised was the flood of cocaine and methamphetamine into the country at this time. Such abrupt changes in patterns of drug supply, possession and use are rare, and therefore worthy of close study. This Beckley Briefing Paper takes a dispassionate look at the available evidence and seeks to draw out the wider lessons of the Australian upheaval.