News

Synthetic the new drug of choice

Products like Amsterdam High are among the brands of synthetic cannabis to be pulled from retailers' shelves.
Products like Amsterdam High are among the brands of synthetic cannabis to be pulled from retailers' shelves. Chris Ison

AN INCREASING number of people are swapping hard drugs for the synthetic unknown and leaving themselves at the mercy of unidentified substances.

A National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre report released on Tuesday found while well-established party drugs like ecstasy were re-emerging in Australia, just under half of study participants were opting for synthetic drugs.

Close to 90% of the 600 people sampled over six months in the research described ecstasy as easy or very easy to get a hold of.

The proportion who found the drug difficult to get hold of halved compared with 2011.

But drug trends chief investigator and NDARC senior lecturer Dr Lucy Burns referred to the emergence of synthetic drugs as a worrying trend.

"The number and range of synthetic drugs which are being accessed by regular ecstasy users is cause for concern," says Dr Burns.

"What is concerning about synthetic drugs is that there is great variability in the content of these substances, and often, very little is known about what they actually contain.

"This poses unknown risks for consumers particularly as the vast majority of ecstasy users are polydrug users and are taking more than one drug at a time."

NDARC found 40% of the sample using emerging psychoactive drugs including synthetic cannabis, sometimes dubbed Kronic.

Methamphetamine use decreased considerably among Queensland users with only 53 of participants having used the drug in the last six months.

In 2003, 89 respondents used methamphetamine in the same time period.

Methamphetamine in a crystallised form - otherwise known as ice - has increased in use across Australia since last year with 54 of drug users having injected the drug in 2012, nine more than the previous year.

Topics:  crime, drugs, methamphetamine, synthetic drugs




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

How Darling Downs woman's insurance scam was exposed

Woman claims $7750 insurance claim for 'stolen' vehicle

Enter sandman: David Fearby takes over

ENTER SANDMAN: David Fearby, the new man at the helm of Warwick Sand and Gravel.

David Fearby is the new man in charge.

Truck crash closes Cunningham Hwy near Warwick

NSW State Emergency Services Fire Rescue Truck Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate.

Highway to be closed for at least an hour while wreckage removed

Latest deals and offers

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%