New data shows amphetamines are abundant and many people who are arrested by police have consumed the drug.
Plenty of amphetamines are available and in Kings Cross, Sydney, most of the people arrested have consumed the drug.
New data from early this year shows that in Kings Cross, 61 per cent of people detained by police tested positive for amphetamines. In East Perth, 43 per cent tested positive, while in Brisbane it was 41 per cent.
The information from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s drug use monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program backs findings of the Australian Crime Commission in its latest annual illicit drug data report.
AIC has run DUMA since 1999, conducting twice-yearly surveys of detainees at selected police lock-ups in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. They are asked about drug use and to provide a urine sample to see what drugs they have consumed.
AIC research manager Matthew Willis said the research showed a steady rise in amphetamine use since 2009.
“Given that amphetamine use, in particular methamphetamine use, has been associated with an increased risk of violence and aggression, a rise in use among the Australian detainee population is of concern,” he said in a blog on the AIC website.
The research, done in the first quarter of this year, showed the lowest rates of amphetamine use among detainees were in Adelaide (23 per cent) and Sydney’s Surry Hills (26 per cent).
Nationally, 46 per cent of property offenders and 47 per cent of drug offenders tested positive for amphetamines. Twenty-eight per cent of violent offenders tested positive to amphetamines, as did 20 per cent of driving offenders.
None of those surveyed had problems obtaining the drugs. On a scale of one (hard to obtain) to 10 (abundant), detainees rated amphetamine availability at eight. Overall quality was rated at seven.