Pubdate: Tue, 19 Sep 2006
Source: Australian, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2006sThe Australian
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


THE rising use of amphetamine type substances is a growing concern 
for Australia and the region, federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison 
said today.

"Amphetamine Type Substances (ATS) are the greatest challenge in the 
war on drugs, both here in Australia and internationally," Senator 
Ellison said today in the wake of a report on illicit drugs by the 
Australian National Council on Drugs.

The senator said the so-called "Golden Triangle" - where the borders 
of Burma, Thailand and Laos meet - remained a great threat in terms 
of drug production.

But he said the report found opium cultivation had declined there in 
recent years as more ATS were produced in the Golden Triangle.

Increasing affluence in the Asia Pacific region had led to the rising 
use of amphetamines, he said.

Senator Ellison said a regional response to the problem was needed.

He said he had received "excellent co-operation" so far in talks with 
ministerial counterparts and in the US, China, Thailand, Singapore, 
Malaysia and Indonesia.

He said Australia would host a conference in Queensland in October at 
which the issue of ATS and precursor chemicals would be discussed by 
law enforcement officials from around the world.