What should I do?
Australia is in the midst of an ice epidemic that is ravaging families and crippling communities. More than 500,000 Australians aged 14 years and over have used ice in some form over the past year, according to the Australian Drug Foundation.
It’s also a lucrative business. In the beginning of this year, Australian authorities seized $1.2 billion worth of the drug concealed in a shipment of silicon bra inserts and art supplies. It was the largest liquid ice bust in Australia’s history.
There is no doubt the ice scourge had reached crisis point.
For every import shipment and every Meth Lab discovered there are many more additional sites contaminated by meth users. Labs as well user sites can be contaminated to levels that exceed levels outlined in the Australian Clandestine Drug Remediation Guidelines.
Think you are inspecting, working or living in a Meth contaminated environment?
You need to know the warning signs:
- Paranoid behaviour of the occupants Unusual numbers of short stay visitors to the property.
- Covered and blacked out windows Large amounts of household chemicals
- Waste with a large number of pill packaging, coffee filters, pillow cases and sheets that are stained red, glass containers with dried chemical deposits
- >Burnt areas of lawn in the back yard
- Generally a feel to the property that the occupants have stopped caring
The number of Australians using the illegal drug methamphetamine — including crystal methamphetamine or ice — has tripled over the past five years, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre estimates.
A new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows there are 268,000 regular and dependent methamphetamine users in Australia.
One of the study's authors, Sarah Larney, said that five years ago the number of users was about 90,000.
Dr Larney said the results were based on the number of people seeking treatment in Australia, and when other factors were taken into account, the data reflected a jump in the use of the drug.
She said the most alarming finding was that the number of users in the 15 to 24 age group has more than doubled from about 21,000 regular and dependent users five years ago to 59,000 users now.
"Our concern with the 15 to 24-year-olds is that there is a clear indication we are talking about new methamphetamine users," she said.
"The previous discussions have suggested that increasing use has been among existing users of the drug who are just using more.
"But this data suggests that there is a new, young population initiating methamphetamine use and developing regular and dependent use, and the harms associated with that." Dr Larney said it was the first time increases across different age groups had been quantified.
"Previously we have been relying on data from the household survey, which has been very good for telling us about broad drug use trends," she said.
"But it doesn't really focus on regular and dependent and regular use, which is where the harms are occurring. "This is the first data to quantify that increase and certainly suggest that what we are seeing in the household survey is underestimating regular and dependent use."
Dr Larney said one of the most important aspects to take away from the survey was the opportunities for early intervention to prevent the transition into regular and dependent drug use.
By Danuta Kozaki, 29 Feb 2016, 12:33pm