Monograph no. 39

Reducing the methamphetamine problem in Australia: Evaluating innovative partnerships between police, pharmacies and other third parties

Illicit methamphetamine use is a continuing, significant problem, with prevalence rates In Australia among the highest in the world. Australian policy responses have been focused on supply reduction strategies, and especially law enforcement. While traditional policing of drug problems relies mostly on reactive measures, innovative approaches involving third parties are increasingly popular. Third party policing partnerships engage non-police to help develop and coordinate crime prevention strategies. In Australia, Project STOP has been developed by police, pharmacists and other partners to reduce the diversion of legal pseudoephedrine products into illicit methamphetamine production. The aim of this study was to evaluate this partnership in two different States, which have adopted different approaches to its implementation. The importance of both a supportive regulatory framework and organisational support for innovative approaches to drug control are discussed, and a best practice framework is suggested.

Monograph no. 38

Drink or drunk: Why do staff at licensed premises continue to serve patrons to intoxication despite current laws and interventions?

Addressing drinking behaviours, intoxication and the resultant behaviours from intoxication in Australia is influenced by several issues?the social acceptability of intoxication, the acceptance of licensed venues as places where intoxication happens and a general belief that violence and aggression at licensed venues is inevitable. Over the past 20 years, Australia has made significant moves to address issues of alcohol-related harm and violence through server regulations such as RSA training, State and Territory liquor controls, security legislation and through localised liquor management plans and accords. Despite such interventions and media attention around the risks associated with unsafe drinking habits, intoxicated people continue to be able to easily access alcohol and be served in licensed venues. The aim of the current study was to gain an understanding of why staff at licensed premises continue to serve patrons to intoxication and the factors that increase this, despite current laws and interventions. Motivating factors for continuing alcohol service and the different perspectives of both bar staff and venue owners and managers are investigated in this project.

Monograph no. 37

Opioid substitution treatment in prison and post-release: Effects on criminal recidivism and mortality

Opioid substitution treatment (OST) is an effective treatment for heroin dependence that is increasingly available in correctional settings globally; in 2009, at least 29 countries offered OST in at least one correctional institution (Larney & Dolan 2009). In Australia, OST is available in prisons in all jurisdictions, albeit with limitations on treatment access in some jurisdictions (AIHW 2010a). One rationale that is often given in support of prison OST is that it reduces post-release criminality; however, the evidence for this proposition is equivocal. Another rationale for prison OST is that it will reduce the risk of death by drug overdose in the post-release period. The aims of the studies presented in this report are to assess the effects of prison OST on re-incarceration, criminal convictions and mortality.

Monograph no. 35

Illicit Drug Laboratories and the Environment

The illicit manufacture of amphetamine-type substances in clandestine laboratories is a significant problem in Australia and overseas. Disposal of chemical waste from clandestine laboratories is more likely to involve practices that maintain secrecy rather than practices that protect the environment; inevitably some clandestine laboratories will dispose of waste by burial and that waste that is disposed of in domestic waste will end up in landfill. It has been estimated that approximately 5?6 pounds of waste is produced for each pound of methamphetamine produced (Lukas, 1997). Although the waste itself represents a direct environmental threat, soil is an active material that digests some chemicals and converts them into other chemicals, which themselves could also be a threat. Surprisingly, there has only been one investigation into what happens to drugs, their precursors, and manufacturing by-products when they are buried; therefore it is not yet known whether these chemicals represent an environmental threat or not. A critical task of the forensic clandestine laboratory investigator is to analyse residues of manufacture in order to gather evidence of illicit drug manufacture and evidence of the particular synthetic route used. The chemical make-up of residues that have been buried has not been investigated.

Monograph no. 34

Developing the capacity and skills for national implementation of a drug law enforcement performance measurement framework

This report summarises major findings from the second stage of a project to test the feasibility of a model performance measurement framework for Australian drug law enforcement (DLE) agencies and to provide advice on its national implementation.

Monograph no. 33

An investigation into the influx of Indigenous 'visitors' to Darwin's Long Grass from remote NT communities - Phase 2

Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin’s Long Grass

This study asked the question, What do Aboriginal people staying in Darwin's Long Grass require to attain an acceptable level of health and life quality and to be law abiding citizens? The views and experiences of 550 participants were explored through three stages of fieldwork.

Monograph no. 32

Comparative rates of violent crime amongst methamphetamine and opioid users: Victimisation and offending

There have been marked changes in methamphetamine use over the past decade as more potent forms of the drug have become increasingly available, particularly crystalline methamphetamine. A major concern of stronger potency methamphetamine is the increased potential for harm, such as psychotic symptoms and violent behaviour. Little is currently known about what effects methamphetamine use has on violent behaviour.

Monograph no. 31

Enhancing the implementation and management of drug diversion strategies in Australian law enforcement agencies

The cases of South Australia Police, Tasmania Police and Victoria Police during the period 2000 - 2005

Monograph no. 30

The bioprofiling of illicit drugs

It has been found that DNA sequences can be extracted and amplified from typical drug seizures. Non-human DNA in seizures was readily compared for similarities, pair-wise, seizure to seizure and this should be applicable to police intelligence almost immediately and court usage after considerable experience and validation.

Monograph no. 29

Application of new DNA markers for forensic examination of Cannabis sativa seizures

Developmental validation of protocols and a genetic database

While Cannabis sativa has many industrial and therapeutic uses, drug varieties of C. sativa remain Australia?s most frequently used illicit drug. It is widely presumed that organised crime groups largely supply the domestic black market for C. sativa. However, law enforcement agencies are often unable to link producers operating in suspected syndicates or to determine whether crops of legalised fibre varieties are being used for the covert production of drug varieties of the plant.