Meth Use on the Rise in Australia, Report Finds
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Australia’s meth problem is becoming increasingly pervasive and use of the illicit substance is going nowhere but up, according to a recently published report.
The report by the Australian Crime Commission is the first of its kind and brings with it a harrowing story of how crystal meth is spreading throughout the country to “areas the drug has not previously been present.”
The commission found that meth poses the greatest risk to Australia, with more than 60% of the country’s highest risk criminals involved in the meth market. The report also noted that growing meth use is tied to the rise in burglaries, drug-impaired driving and many violent crimes including assault and murder.
Officials plan to tackle the problem by joining forces with government agencies, local law enforcement and community groups. But the meth market is heavily entrenched and the organized crime rings have proven difficult to crack.
“These groups have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to adapt rapidly and dynamically to changes in legislation, law enforcement targeting and the market,” the report said. “They have been seen to adjust their sourcing, diversion and importation methods, chemical choices and manufacturing methodologies to adapt to market changes and avoid detection.”
The report goes on to warn that some of the groups will be especially resilient to law enforcement efforts because they “diversify their range of illicit commodities.”
The meth scourge in Australia is not confined to dealers and users. The report found that many of the meth labs are located in residential areas and “therefore poses a risk to the surrounding community.”
According to the report, eliminating meth will take hard work and will be an uphill battle. Even still, the deep-rooted meth market will likely continue to flourish before being snuffed out.
“The methamphetamine market will almost certainly remain entrenched and continue to grow in the medium term,” the report concluded.