The number of Australians who have tried the drug ice has more than doubled over the past ten years. Geoff Neideck of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) says while the number of Australians using illicit drugs remains steady but over the last five years in particular more users of amphetamines have been shifting to using the crystal (ice) form of the drug.
The AIHW's report into methamphetamine availability and trends examined drug use over 10 years in Australia and found ice use was on the rise. In 2007, just 26 per cent of new methamphetamine users chose the ice form of the drug but in 2013 that number had increased to 43 per cent, AIHW spokesperson
Geoff Neideck said. Ice, a form of methamphetamine, is most commonly smoked but can be injected, swallowed or snorted. The treatment of those who smoke ice has also jumped dramatically from just over three per cent of drug users in 2003-04 to 41 per cent in 2013-14. The report also suggests ice is easier to access and users are becoming heavier in their consumption. 'In 2013, 25 per cent of recent users whose main form was ice reported using at least weekly, which was twice as many as 2010,' Mr Neideck said.
According to the report, close to 1.3 million Australians had used ice in their lifetime and indigenous Australians were using the drug in higher proportions than other Australians. The report attributed the spike in use to a rapid increase in the production and supply of the drug. 'For example, the identification of (amphetamine-type stimulants) at the Australian border increased by 86 per cent between 2011-12 and 2012-13, and a further 18 per cent in 2013-14,' Mr Neideck said
AAP - Friday, 2 October 2015
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