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




Southern Downs council calls on locals for bridge names

BRIDGING THE GAP: Southern Downs councillors are calling on locals to help name four new bridges in the region.

Southern Downs councillors calls for community help to name bridges

Bikie Laws: MP compares bikie logos to burqas

Outlaw motorcycle gang colours and logos would be outlawed under the proposed changes.

"Are you going to become the fashion police?"

More Warwick drivers busted

Police officers conducting a random breath test operation.

Drivers on the wrong side of the law.

Latest deals and offers

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m