NZ's P (meth) problem like a balloon, says expert

By Terrapinzflyer · Oct 7, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    NZ's P problem like a balloon, says expert

    New Zealand’s methamphetamine (or P) problem is like a balloon – stretch it one way and it will bulge in the other, according to specialist group, Methcon.

    Banning cold remedy ingredient pseudoephedrine, one suggestion for fighting the problem, was achievable, staging it with prescription-only regulation first, but the “massive” global trade had to be recognised, Methcon Group director and former drug lab detective Mike Sabin said.

    “There has to be a marriage between supply and demand reductions.”

    Speaking at an online briefing organised by the Science Media Centre, Mr Sabin said data from US states including Oregon and Kentucky showed trends toward sophisticated monitoring increased the amount of people shopping for the product.

    The US was moving towards prescription-only pseudoephedrine products, he said.

    Environmental Science and Research (ESR) general manager of forensics Keith Bedford said pseudoephedrine was the main precursor for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

    Significant amounts were being seized and smugglers were going to lengths to conceal the drug, including hiding it inside batteries, books, on the body or in sofas.

    Customs have seized 700kg this year.

    A 1g or 100mg bag of methamphetamine was mostly 75% pure, he said. “There’s insignificant difference in purity between crystal meth, or ice, and the main product that’s being distributed in the New Zealand illicit drug market.”

    He said a distinguishing feature of the New Zealand manufacture of the clandestine lab scene was the improvisation and ingenuity of methods used.

    Chief science advisor Professor Peter Gluckman was tasked to suggest ways to fight the country’s methamphetamine problem and will present those findings to the Prime Minister. Suggestions are expected to be made public this month.

    Clinical pharmacology professor at the University of Auckland Peter Black said there were alternatives for people suffering cold and flu to products containing pseudoephedrine, including xylometazoline.

    Chris Wilkins, team leader of drugs research at Massey University’s Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) said the P scene in New Zealand was entering a maturation phase.

    The year 2001 was the “high water mark” in the trend, which had dropped off since then.

    He said most users were not getting treatment and there was an opportunity to intervene with P users in the criminal justice system, as they were more likely to be criminally active.

    Andrea Deuchrass | Wednesday October 7 2009 - 11:18am

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  1. weedmylips
    This would have to be the worst drug in the world!! And it's caused so much grief in NZ!! Because of this drug it's so hard to get cold and flu tablets anymore!! lol -
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Cold medicine will need prescription

    A major new crackdown on methamphetamine, or P, has been unveiled by Prime Minister John Key.

    Precursor chemicals for P will be restricted by making pseudoephedrine a Class B2 drug. That means it will only be available by prescription.

    "I am determined that we will use the full force of the government's arsenal to fight the problem of P, a seriously addictive drug that is ruining lives," Key says.

    "The government is adopting a multi-pronged approach to fighting this dangerous scourge by cracking down on precursors, breaking the supply chain, providing better routes into treatment, supporting families and community, and strengthening leadership and accountability."

    Proceeds of crime legislation will be used to pay for anti-P initiatives and border security will be stepped up to prevent the illegal importation of the drug.

    Police and customs are set to get more resources.

    Forty additional Customs officers will be asssigned to a dedicated drug-taskforce and a a new Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy is to be set up from November to tackle those making the drugs.

    Treatment services for addicts will also be boosted with another $22 million invested in clinical services.

    The increase in funding for treatment has been welcomed by those who deal with the addicts.

    Odyssey House CEO Christine Kalin says they have been advocating for extra residential beds for some time.

    "In practical terms this funding will enable us to treat more adults and young people, reduce our waiting list, and help turn around the lives of people addicted to 'P', and their families," says Kalin.
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    and a press release from the NZ police:

    Police welcome tougher stance against methamphetamine.

    8 October, 2009 - 14:57

    Police say they will take full advantage of enforcement and legislative powers arising from the Government's tougher stance against methamphetamine.

    Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickard says New Zealand has one of the highest addiction rates in the world to methamphetamine.

    "A whole of government approach means that as a nation we can be more effective in the battle against methamphetamine and the organised criminals that manufacture and supply it."

    Police have developed a Methamphetamine Control Strategy designed to disrupt the supply of methamphetamine, reduce methamphetamine related crime and ensure that profits and assets made
    through dealing methamphetamine can be more readily recovered.

    "The control strategy is a whole of police response to the problem of methamphetamine".

    "This means that all police staff whether they be community police, youth aid, Criminal Investigation Bureau, traffic or specialist squads will contribute to targeting methamphetamine cooks, dealers and users," Mr Rickard said.

    "Police support the control of pseudoephedrine as it would allow us to concentrate resources and work with Customs on preventing the importation of precursors from overseas."

    "Precursor control is a vital part of disrupting the supply of methamphetamine, but no one action on its own will solve the methamphetamine problem."

    "Stronger legislation around gangs, the ability to seize assets and profits of organised criminals and enhanced treatment programmes will all contribute reducing the supply of methamphetamine and making our communities safer."

  4. PCG IV
    :thumbsdown: What a bloody sick joke! :mad: Now when SWIM needs to get some Coldral they have to take an hour (or more) off work, sit in a doctor's waiting room with other sick people and pay $60 to see him - ending up costing over $100 just so that SWIM can have clear head, which the subtstitute decongestants do *not* allow. And the end result of this? With a temporary reduction in locally available pseudoephedrine, the demand for PE from China will increase, with enterprising (and amoral) Chinese students being more tempted by the higher prices to bring a veritable flood of PE into the country. Perhaps SWIM will end up having to go to the Mongrel Mob in order to by cold pills at a near-reasonable price!
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