Abuse of Methamphetamines in Western Australia

The abuse of methamphetamines (more commonly known as ice or meth) in Western Australia is increasingly prevalent.

Meth addiction is a huge problem in Western AustraliaHere at Lawson Legal, we share the concerns of citizens, law enforcement personnel, and government officials about the impact of methamphetamines on the well-being of those in Western Australia.

We use our legal skills to assist those accused of meth possession and related crimes in obtaining justice in accordance with the Western Australia legal codes.

WHAT IS METH AND WHAT HOW DOES IT AFFECT USERS?

Methamphetamines are man-made stimulants that produce an initial powerful high. The drug has the ability to deliver:

  • Alertness
  • Energy
  • Increased physical capacity (especially strength and speed)
  • Self-assurance
  • Euphoria

The ugly effects of ice include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme irritability
  • Rage
  • Anxiety
  • Unpredictable behaviour

Even though the negative effects of ice greatly outweigh the high, the first-time high from ice impacts users and they long to replicate the feeling.

FACTS ABOUT METH USE IN AUSTRALIA

  1. The nation did not experience a significant problem with a predominance of methamphetamines until the early 1990s. According to Mick Palmer, former Australian Federal Police Commissioner, the use of the drug, most commonly known as ice, did not initially seem like a significant problem at the time.
  2. Fast forward a decade and a half and Australia has the largest use of ice in the English-speaking world. According to experts the problem is growing and the users are getting younger.
  3. Western Australia is seeing disturbing trends in the increased use of illegal drugs and meth in particular. A study from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission states that WA has the highest use of meth in the nation. Officials determined the amount of meth used by examining the wastewater of regions across the country. Authorities aim to use data collected to help target efforts to control the trafficking and use of ice.

METHAMPHETAMINES AND THE LAW: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 guides Western Australian law regarding drug offences. The law specifies the illegality of the following:

  • Growing or selling plants that are needed to make illegal drugs
  • Making illegal substances
  • Possessing drugs
  • Trafficking drugs

The state toughened penalties for use and possession of ice with the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Methamphetamine Offences). This ensures:

  • Penalties for these crimes are more severe if methamphetamines are involved. The maximum sentence for trafficking 28 grams or more is life in prison
  • The courts are free to determine the monetary value of fines levied, and there is no upper limit on the amount of fines courts can order

ICE USE AND DRUG OFFENCES

In a study of drug offences in Western Australia, the number of offences grew by 107 per cent between 2007-08 and 2016-17. Drug-related crime accounts for one out of every two reported crimes in regional Western Australia.

Drug offences include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Trafficking
  • Possessing
  • Using

DO CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES INCREASE BECAUSE OF THE USE OF ICE?

Aside from the crime associated with use, trafficking or manufacturing ice, the drug brings a host of related crimes. The influx of criminal activity seen with the use of ice is so great that former police commissioner, Andrew Scipione, names ice as the top source of Australia’s social problems. Scipone went so far as to say the nation could lose an entire generation to methamphetamines.

Citizens in Australia’s large cities, rural communities, and everywhere in between endure crimes committed by those under the influence of ice, those looking for money to buy ice or the organised criminals behind the influx of ice in the nation.

WHAT ARE THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY ICE USERS?

The crimes range in severity, and this is by no means an exhaustive list of acts perpetrated because of ice.

NON-VIOLENT CRIMES

Typically committed for money or under the influence of meth. These include:

  • Petty theft
  • Trafficking meth
  • Prostitution
  • Trespassing
  • Property offences
  • Extortion

VIOLENT CRIMES

Violent crimes frequently occur under the influence of ice. While the victims can be strangers, users frequently target friends or family members, especially if they are trying to prevent the user from getting more of the drug.

Armed robbery by meth addict

Armed robbery by meth addict

It is important to note that there is a significant organised criminal element associated with ice. These crime rings are responsible for numerous violent crimes. Often these are assaults or homicides as retribution for money owed or activity seen as offensive to the criminals in charge.

Self-harm is another common occurrence which frequently happens when an ice user cannot get more of the drug or due to psychophysiological reactions while under the influence of meth.

Some common violent crimes committed by meth users include:

  • Assault
  • Murder
  • Sex-related offences
  • Armed robbery
  • Accidents while driving under the influence of ice

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Due to the high penalties for use, distribution, or manufacturing ice, Lawson Legal’ s team of expert lawyers always advises clients to cooperate with authorities.

Avoid making any statements aside from identifying information. Calmly ask to speak to your legal representative and allow our lawyers to assess the case against you and advise you on your best options. Remember that you do not need to go through your case alone.