Methyl amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant drug and a type of amphetamine-type stimulant that is illegal in all Australian jurisdictions. Methyl amphetamine comes in several forms, including tablet, powder, crystal and oil. The most commonly available form in Australia is crystalline (‘ice’) followed by powder (‘speed’). Of all illicit drugs, the ACC assesses that methyl amphetamine, and in particular crystal methyl amphetamine, poses the highest risk to the Australian community and is of significant national concern. The ACC has identified significant changes in the nature and scale of the methyl amphetamine market since 2010, and particularly since 2013. The purity has increased and crystal methyl amphetamine is now the dominant form of the drug. Of particular concern is the diversification in the supply of methyl amphetamine to the market. Where domestic production has traditionally been adequate to supply a relatively stable user base, since 2010 there has been a considerable increase in the number and weight of detections at the Australian border. Several seizure records have been set, and this upward trend is continuing. This growth has occurred without a concurrent fall in domestic production, as indicated by the number of clandestine laboratory detections and the high volume of precursor seizures. Serious and organised crime is driving these trends and user demand. More than 60 per cent of Australia’s highest risk criminal targets, including transnational targets, are involved in the methyl amphetamine market. The majority of these targets are involved in multiple drug markets. The growth in scale of serious and organised crime involvement is the result of the significant profits to be made, the move by crime groups to poly-drug2 trafficking and an increase by users in poly-drug use. Serious and organised crime groups are also increasingly involved in the importation and trafficking of precursor chemicals, and are adept at developing new manufacturing techniques to avoid controls over sales of key precursor chemicals. The ACC assesses that the Australian methyl amphetamine market will continue to grow in the short to medium term. This expansion can only be addressed by the collective efforts of the Australian Government, state and territory governments, non-government organisations, industry and the community.
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