Cheap meth drug spreading across Europe

Nov. 23, 2007 at 1:54 PM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Homemade methamphetamine has spread across the Czech Republic and now is catching a growing number of addicts all over Europe.

Last year, in the country of 10 million people, Czech police uncovered 416 home labs producing the cheap, potent meth, based on pseudoephedrine from common cold medicines, compared with 19 meth cooking facilities in 2000, The New York Times said Friday.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported the number of European countries registering meth confiscations more than doubled from 2000-05.

The consumption of the strongly addictive meth, which is often used as injected stimulant, is conquering the European drug market as an alternative to the twice more expensive cocaine.

However, the current consumption of meth in Europe is still far behind heroin and cocaine.

A U.N. drug expert warned the fast growing meth consumption in the Czech Republic and subsequently in Europe could follow the pattern it had in the United States where it turned from a regional problem to a national issue.

The meth is very dangerous because it is so easy to produce in home labs, the drug expert said.

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