Australia tops ecstasy abuse
The Australian by
MORE than two million
Australians have taken illegal amphetamine-based drugs.
Australians are the biggest users of ecstasy in the world,
per head of population.
The shock findings are
contained in the Australian Crime Commission's Illicit Drug
Data Report for 2004-05.
Justice Minister Chris
Ellison, who launched the ACC report yesterday, said there
had been a disturbing increase in the use and making of
amphetamine-type substances (ATS) in Australia.
Senator Ellison said an
estimated one in 10 Australians had tried ATS.
ACC chief executive Alastair
Milroy said tablets sold as ecstasy or speed often contained
other dangerous chemicals, including the horse tranquilliser
"There is an increasing trend
in the use of crystal methylamphetamine (ice) among young
recreational drug users," he said.
Senator Ellison said most
Australians now seemed to have got the message not to use
"But with amphetamine-type
stimulants we are struggling," he said.
"We have got a lot more to do
in relation to educating our young people."
The report revealed:
- POLICE arrested
77,333 people for drug-related offences in Australia last
year and seized more than 13.6 tonnes of illegal drugs.
- THERE has been a
556 per cent increase in the number of
amphetamine-producing clandestine laboratories detected in
Australia since 1996.
- CRIMINAL gangs have
infiltrated pharmaceutical, chemical, steel and glassware
companies so they have access to drug-making ingredients
- SEVENTY per cent of
people arrested in Australia have used illegal drugs in
the 30 days before being arrested.
- MORE than 60 per
cent of criminals charged with property offences had
recently used illegal drugs other than cannabis.
- FORTY-ONE per cent
of females detained by police tested positive to
amphetamines and 29 per cent of males did.
- WEST African crime
gangs play a big role in smuggling cocaine to Australia.
- AUSTRALIANS snort
and inject almost three tonnes of cocaine a year.
- BY far the biggest
annual increase in seized amphetamines was in Victoria, up
almost 600 per cent to 1.26 tonnes in 2004-05.
- CANNABIS is
increasingly being used by ecstasy and other drug users to
manage moods and come down from stimulant drugs.
- VIETNAMESE crime
gangs are emerging as a dominant force in hydroponic
- THE continuing
decline in opium production in South-East Asia has created
the potential for traffickers to look to Afghanistan as a
future source of heroin to Australia.
- A CREW member from
a visiting Japanese warship tried to bring almost 10kg of
crystal methylamphetamine (ice) into Australia last year.
The ACC report warned that
recent restrictions placed on the supply of pseudoephedrine-based
cold and flu tablets would see criminals turn to other
methods to get the ingredients for amphetamines.
Mr Milroy said police seized
6.9 tonnes of cannabis last year.