Pubdate: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 Source: Australian, The (Australia) Copyright: 2006sThe Australian Contact: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/files/aus-letters.htm Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/35 Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/meth.htm (Methamphetamine) SPEED 'GREATEST CHALLENGE' IN DRUG WAR 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.