Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Source: Eastern Daily Press (Norwich, UK)
Copyright: 2008 Archant Regional
Author: Laura Devlin
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


A warning that a dangerous and highly addictive drug could arrive on 
Norfolk's streets was last night issued by the county's police chief.

Methylamphetamine - a class A drug more commonly known as crystal 
meth - has not previously been peddled in Norfolk, but chief 
constable Ian McPherson said it could be introduced into the county 
this year, impacting on crime and police resources.

The extremely potent amphetamine, which has already taken a hold in 
the United States and some parts of the UK, is considered as 
addictive as crack cocaine and poses the added risk of explosion 
because it can be made from a cocktail of household solvents and cleaners.

Mr McPherson raised the potential danger at a meeting with the police 
authority and said 2008 could possibly herald an increase in 
stimulant-related deaths and the arrival of crystal meth.

Only three minor incidences of crystal meth have ever been reported 
in the county, all in the past three years, and in each case the 
small amount of drugs were for personal use and had been bought 
outside Norfolk.

But the force has educated all officers about the drug and developed 
its action plan should the mass-production of crystal meth be 
discovered in Norfolk.

Richard Price, police drug liaison officer, said "the need for 
vigilance" had been highlighted by the rapid development of crack 
cocaine markets in the early part of the new millennium.

The drug is damaging to the body and as highly addictive as crack 
cocaine and evidence from the United States has shown that many of 
its users gravitate from one drug to the other.

"We are very engaged in tracking any information across the eastern 
region about the movement of crystal and the development of this 
substance," said Mr Price.

"We have a contingency plan to deal with the possibility of a factory 
find within the county, and the potential for explosion, and we are 
as prepared as we can be.

"There's a dual consideration for this particular substance; the drug 
itself and the impact it can have on the user, levels of crime and 
the community, resources, and there is the potential for explosion."

He added that there had been occasional crystal meth factory finds 
across the UK and a number of arrests and seizures, primarily in 
urban areas outside East Anglia.

The constituent ingredients of crystal meth render it extremely 
corrosive, and its continued use can have a debilitating effect on 
the body, breaking down the veins at the site of injection and 
rotting teeth and gums if inhaled. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake