Australia's Meth Crisis

12 September 2017
Australia's Meth Crisis

Methamphetamine (aka. Ice or meth) first appeared in Australia in the early 1990s, initially not seen as a serious concern for law enforcers. However, today Australia has the highest use of methamphetamine in the English-speaking world according to a recent TIME news report. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre documented that meth users have tripled over the past five years and continues to rapidly grow within the younger community.

Meth has a wide range of side effects such as, psychosis, hallucinations, aggression, insomnia, paranoia, and delusions. Reported meth users have even included finance professionals, private schoolboys, truck drivers, sporting stars, and military personnel. Six meth related suicides on the HMAS Stirling, the Royal Australian Navy uncovered the scale of the shocking epidemic. Andrew Scipione, a retired Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force in Australia, stated that meth is currently Australia’s number one drug related problem and is more socially damaging than cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs. Randox Toxicology’s most comprehensive Classic Drugs of Abuse (DoA I+) test menu can detect methamphetamine across multiple forensic matrices. Our excellent assay precision and performance eliminates false reporting, reducing unnecessary confirmatory tests and time lost in the laboratory.

Distant from the cocaine and heroin markets, Australia is close to Asia and India which are amongst the highest producers of amphetamine substances. Additionally, China have the largest number of clandestine meth labs. Australia’s close position to China makes the country vulnerable to various supplies exported for industrial purposes and used by local crime groups to produce illicit drugs. Australia’s import restrictions cause limited control over sourced chemicals. In April 2017, 903 kilograms of meth was discovered, making it the largest haul of methamphetamine ever in Australia. Depending on the purity, meth allows users to stay high longer. The street value of meth in Australia is therefore considered highly affordable over exotic cocaine.

Described as a “ticking time bomb” by a Salvation Army worker in Rockhampton, the federal and state governments are in dire need for ambitious programs to help assist meth users, especially within rural areas. From a single sample, Randox Toxicology’s latest array can rapidly and accurately detect these drugs using our Biochip Array Technology, which boasts cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities.Take a look at our scientific poster below on the simultaneous screening of drugs of abuse in different matrices with Evidence Biochip arrays.

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