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Australia facing methamphetamine crisis

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Side effects of methamphetamine use include addiction, psychosis, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, severe dental problems and weight loss. CC/Wikipedia
Side effects of methamphetamine use include addiction, psychosis, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, severe dental problems and weight loss. CC/Wikipedia

SYDNEY, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Australian seizures of methamphetamine have increased almost 10 times in the last few years.

In 2011 there were 44 amphetamine-like substances seized. In 2014, there were 415.

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Police raided almost 750 meth labs last year and expect to raid many more in 2015. Most labs were discovered in rural areas, but police have conducted busts in motel rooms, shipping containers and truck beds.

Meth cooks are blamed for contaminating the ecosystem in Australia by cooking on properties and dumping waste in national parks and water systems.

"Over the past six years we have seen a doubling in the number of clandestine laboratories in [New South Wales]," NSW Detective Inspector Michael Cook said. "The size of the labs are getting much larger."

He also said that for about every two pounds of meth produced there's about 20 pounds of toxic waste.

Customs officers in Australia made 1,379 crystal meth busts, up from 171 three years ago.

Almost a ton of methamphetamine, commonly known as 'ice' in Australia, was seized in Sydney in 2014.

Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug. Side effects include psychosis, memory loss, aggressive or violent behavior, severe dental problems and weight loss.

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