Aust leads world in meth use: New study
AUSTRALIA is the amphetamine capital of the world, a new study shows.
The Global Statistics on Alcohol, Tobacco and Illicit Drug Use: 2017 Status Report reveals Australia and New Zealand have the highest prevalence of dependence on amphetamines with 491 people per 100,000 addicted.
The findings published in the journal Addiction show that the US and Canada have one of the highest rates of cannabis, opioid and cocaine dependence.
Rebecca Lang, chief executive of Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies, confirmed more people were reporting amphetamines (including methylamphetamine) as their principal drug of concern.
“Part of the reason it looks like Australasia is a big consumer of illicit substances is the fact that we collect data on substance use through our National Drug Strategy Household Survey,” she said.
“We know from the last survey that amphetamine use is on the decline, down from 2.1 per cent in 2013 to 1.6 per cent in 2016,” Ms Lang said.
Some countries, like those in Africa and Asia, have little illicit drug data.
“The United States is currently experiencing high levels of opioid dependence,” Ms Lang said.
“So it’s not surprising they’re using fewer amphetamines than Australia.”
The Crime and Corruption Commission in its “Illicit drug markets in Queensland: 201516 intelligence assessment” highlighted that methylamphetamine continued to be rated as the illicit drug market that posed the highest level of risk in the state.
This is “due to the high level of involvement by organised crime” as well as its “ready availability and the significant harms the drug causes to individual users and the community”.