Ecstasy: a home brew to die for
Originally posted by theage.com.au
ALBANY, New York (CNN) -- Nick, 16, says ecstasy is rampant in his high school, with kids often mixing the drug with meth and other substances.
January 7, 2007
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MORE than 100,000 ecstasy tablets, with a street value of more than $3 million, are consumed every weekend in Australia — and, police say, much of it is now made locally by backyard operators cashing in on demand.
Australia is a world leader in the consumption of the dangerous and illegal drug, with 3 per cent of the population using the so-called party drug on a regular basis.
Police say local criminals are increasingly using the internet to find out how to make ecstasy and to order chemicals and equipment instead of importing the drug from overseas.
Detective Inspector Pat Boyle, acting head of the state's major drug taskforce, said Wednesday night's seizure of 1900 litres of liquid ecstasy in Sydney would have only a short-term impact on the market
The chemicals could have been used to make 18 million tablets, worth $540 million.
"There might be a situation where the drug that's now on the market may be more expensive (because of the seizure) pending another flood of this stuff," Inspector Boyle told The Sunday Age.
He said ecstasy was popular because many people believed it was a safe drug that had no side effects, whereas medical evidence suggested it could cause brain damage and even kill.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty last week warned the public not to forget the dangers of using ecstasy. He said there had been a lot of discussion about the deadly drug ice, but ecstasy was an even bigger threat.
"I'm not saying we don't worry about ice; what I'm saying is that, in my mind, ecstasy remains a problem, cocaine remains a problem."
Victoria's acting Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland, has estimated that 100,000 ecstasy tablets, with a street value of more than $3 million, are being taken every weekend in Australia.
The nation's ecstasy users are living up to their reputation as the largest consumer of the designer drug in the world. Three per cent of the population use ecstasy on a "reasonably regular basis", he said.
The demand for ecstasy was fuelling a dramatic increase in the local production of the drug by organised gangs and opportunistic fly-by-nighters attracted to the high profits and low costs.
In evidence given late last year to a federal parliamentary committee inquiring into amphetamines and other synthetic drugs, Mr Overland revealed:
There had been a 30 per cent increase in ecstasy use in Australia between 1993 and 2004.