Purity and forensic analysis

The purity and forensic analysis data presented in this section was provided by state and territory police services, the Australian Federal Police and forensic laboratories.

Annual median purity of analysed samples

2007–08 to 2016–17

Note: Missing data points indicate where no related samples were submitted for analysis.

Note: Amphetamine is a manufacturing by-product of some commonly used methods of methylamphetamine production. This can result in two separate purity figures for a single drug sample—one as methylamphetamine with considerable purity and another of amphetamine with low purity.

In 2016–17 the annual median purity of:

  • amphetamine ranged from 1.5 per cent in Queensland to 6.2 per cent in New South Wales
  • methylamphetamine ranged from 73.3 per cent in Queensland to 82.0 per cent in Victoria
  • phenethylamines ranged from 1.8 per cent in South Australia to 52.5 per cent in New South Wales
  • heroin ranged from 17.0 per cent in Victoria to 71.0 per cent in Western Australia
  • cocaine ranged from 33.2 per cent in Queensland to 60.5 per cent in Western Australia

Quarterly median purity of analysed samples

2016–17

Note: Missing data points indicate where no related samples were submitted for analysis.

Note: Amphetamine is a manufacturing by-product of some commonly used methods of methylamphetamine production. This can result in two separate purity figures for a single drug sample—one as methylamphetamine with considerable purity and another of amphetamine with low purity.

In 2016–17 the quarterly median purity of:

  • amphetamine ranged between 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 and 25.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, both reported in Queensland
  • methylamphetamine ranged between 53.5 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory in the first quarter of 2017 and 82.5 per cent in Victoria in the first quarter of 2017
  • phenethylamines ranged between 0.3 per cent in South Australia in the third quarter of 2016 and 76.3 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory in the second quarter of 2017
  • heroin ranged between 16.4 per cent in Victoria in the second quarter of 2017 and 77.5 per cent in Western Australia in the first quarter of 2017
  • cocaine ranged between 21.0 per cent in Western Australia in the third quarter of 2016 and 76.4 per cent in South Australia in the second quarter of 2017.

Number and weight of seizures selected for further analysis and found to contain novel substances and drug analogues

2007–08 to 2016–17

Note: The data in this figure refers only to seizures made by the AFP, examined by AFP crime scene teams, sampled and subsequently confirmed to contain a novel substance by the National Measurement Institute. Seizure data does not represent all AFP seizures of NPS during these periods.

Forensic profiling of new psychoactive substances seized at the Australian border and selected for further analysis indicates cathinone-type substances accounted for the greatest proportion of the number of analysed samples in 2016‑17, with amphetamine-type substances accounting for the greatest proportion of the weight.


For further information see the Forensic profiling data tables