Pubdate: Wed, 27 Feb 2002
Source: Australian Associated Press (Australia Wire)
Copyright: 2002 Australian Associated Press
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


SYDNEY -- The world anti-drugs body revelation that ecstasy injecting in 
Australia had increased in the last 12 months was already common knowledge, 
a leading drug expert said.

Drug use analyst David Crosbie said the United Nation's International 
Narcotics Control Board (INCB) announcement in its annual report that 
Australian ecstasy users were increasingly injecting the drug had been 
documented for years.

"Two to three years ago it was revealed that over 50 per cent of 
amphetamine users had injected the drug," he said.

Mr Crosbie, who is also involved in the treatment of drug users, said the 
reason behind the increase in injecting amphetamines was that heroin had 
not been readily available.

But he said he believed the trend was stabilising as the heroin drought eased.

There had also been an increase in poly-drug use and many users were also 
injecting prescription drugs such a benzodiazepines, he said.

The INCB also said the strength of ecstasy had increased.

"Drug abusers are increasingly injecting methamphetamine with a high purity 
level," the report said.

But Mr Crosbie said there was a greater range of the drug available rather 
than just greater strength.

"There has been an increased range of amphetamines which includes 
amphetamines which have more effects and more likely to cause psychosis," 
he said.

The report also said more amphetamines were produced in Australia in 2001.

The INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial control body elected by the 
UN's economic and social council.
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