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You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Synthetic drugs market is deceptive, dangerous and illegal — 15.01.2015
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Synthetic drugs market is deceptive, dangerous and illegal — 15.01.2015
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Synthetic drugs market is deceptive, dangerous and illegal — 15.01.2015

Synthetic drugs market is deceptive, dangerous and illegal — 15.01.2015

Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) intelligence indicates the Queensland market for synthetic drugs is expanding.

The CCC has been monitoring the new and emerging psychoactive substances (NPS) market since 2009 and has observed growth in the range and availability of these substances. The CCC has distributed confidential intelligence reports to law enforcement agencies on the NPS market.

The CCC was preparing a public report based on confidential intelligence on the NPS market to warn Queenslanders about the dangers and criminality associated with synthetic drugs. In light of recent deaths in Queensland attributed to synthetic drugs, the CCC has decided to release the report today.

The CCC report, New Synthetic Drugs – Deceptive and Dangerous (PDF), discusses the expansion of the NPS market into regional communities, highlights the deceptive marketing of these substances and the involvement of organised crime in the distribution of NPS in Queensland.

Acting CCC Chairman, Dr Ken Levy, said it is important that in addition to the serious health risks of synthetic drugs, the community understands the criminality associated with using, possessing, distributing and producing these illegal substances.

“The CCC is releasing this report so the Queensland community better understands that the NPS and synthetic drugs markets are dangerous and illegal just like traditional illicit drugs,” Dr Levy said.

“Many consumers of synthetic drugs believe they are safe compared to other illicit drugs because of deceptive marketing that often refers to these illegal drugs as legal highs. They often have playful names or use cartoon characters to further enhance the pretence that these substances are legal.

“The reality is that criminals are using deceptive marketing to further their criminal enterprises and users of these substances are simply creating a market for organised crime to exploit.”

CCC intelligence indicates NPS are becoming more prevalent in regional communities often due to a shortage of traditional illicit drugs. CCC intelligence also indicates organised crime groups, including criminal motorcycle gangs, are becoming more involved in the NPS market as both users and suppliers.

“The take home message is simple. People using, purchasing, distributing or producing these synthetic drugs are committing serious offences. They are contributing to the expansion of markets used by criminals to further their criminality,” Dr Levy said.

“These drugs are not safer or any less illegal than traditional illicit drugs. In some respects, the synthetic drugs are more dangerous because their chemical ingredients are unknown.”

The CCC and other law enforcement agencies are actively targeting the production, importation, trafficking and possession of NPS and synthetic drugs.

A copy of the report is available on the CCC’s website: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/new-synthetic-drugs

--ENDS--

The CCC presented a paper at the Australian Drugs Conference in October 2014 on the new and emerging NPS market in Queensland. A copy of this presentation can be found at: http://www.australiandrugsconference.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Ms-Katherine-Pike-Focus-on-New-Synthetics.pdf

Last updated: 16 February 2015
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