DUMA drug market characteristics

The Drug use monitoring in Australia (DUMA) annual report 2003 provides an overview of the patterns of drug use and criminal activity amongst police detainees (across seven sites in Australia). Within the questionnaire, detainees are asked a series of questions about their involvement in the local drug market in the past 30 days. Seventy per cent of detainees across all sites self-reported obtaining drugs in the past 30 days - 26 per cent paid cash only for the drugs, 23 per cent obtained the drugs without paying cash, while 52 per cent had used both methods to obtain the drugs. The method of payment was found to vary according to the type of drug - detainees who obtained cannabis were less likely to pay cash, while those who obtained heroin or methamphetamine were more likely to have paid cash only. The most common method of contact for those who had paid cash for heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine was calling their dealer on a mobile phone (30 per cent for heroin, 26 per cent for methamphetamine and 29 per cent for cocaine). In relation to the purchase of cannabis, almost a third of the detainees (31 per cent) visited the dealer's house or flat. Around one in ten of the detainees said they had approached the dealer in a public place.

Method of contact for detainees who paid cash for drug in past 30 days [see attached PDF for graph]


  • Milner L, Mouzos J, & Makkai T 2004. Drug use monitoring in Australia: 2003 annual report on drug use among police detainees Research and public policy series no 58 Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra