The use of amphetamines is a growing problem in Australia.
It is estimated that organized crime groups carry out 90% of the manufacture and dealing of illicit drugs such as ecstasy, ice and speed (generically referred to as amphetamines). This is how organized crime groups fund their activities. They profit at the expense of the community.
It is believed that the number of back yard “clandestine” laboratories is increasing. While small groups of “backyarders” are involving themselves in manufacturing illicit drugs, often they are ably supported by organized crime groups.
Present statistics place the cost of drugs to the Australian community at over $6 billion each year in social costs, that is, the cost of hospitalization and rehabilitation from public violence, death and injury on the roads and lost days at work. Added to this is the actual cost of the illicit drugs themselves. 45% of illicit drug users admit to being involved in criminal behaviour to feed their habit.
It is reported that approximately one third of 20 to 30 year olds have stated that they experimented with illicit drugs. Amphetamine users are more likely to be educated to Years 10 to 12 at secondary school. Ongoing usage drops as education increases.
Crime Stoppers held a National Campaign in November 2010 aimed at encouraging anyone with information about the manufacture of illicit drugs, especially clandestine “backyard” laboratories, to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline.
As a result of information received, ACT Policing executed two search warrants which resulted in the seizure of $10,000 worth of illicit drugs and a number of packages containing a substance thought to be methylamphetamine (ICE) and the subsequent arrest of two people with another person being summonsed to court.