BERLIN, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The use of methamphetamine is on the rise in Germany, with some areas experiencing dramatic increases in new users last year, officials say.
National statistics for meth use in Germany for 2012 are not yet available, but in Bavaria the number of first-time users, as documented by police, grew from 24 in 2009 to 456 in 2012, TheLocal.de reported Saturday. In Saxony Anhalt, a 50 percent increase in crystal meth use was recorded last year, police said.
"The discovered amounts and the cases involving crystal have shown a significant increase for 2012," a spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Office said.
The statistics coming in from 2012 show a trend of increased meth use that has been going on for several years, the Bild newspaper said; some areas of Germany saw as large as a 70 percent increase in meth users from 2010 to 2011
"Crystal is in Germany on the rise and is expanding from the southern states to the north and west," Tom Bernhardt, a spokesman for the State Police in Saxony, told the newspaper.
Meth, which is easy and inexpensive to manufacture, is being imported into Germany from the Czech Republic and Africa, Bild said.