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|Title:||Clandestine drug laboratories in Australia and the potential for harm|
|Citation:||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2005; 29(2):155-162|
|Publisher:||Public Health Assoc Australia Inc|
|Caldicott, DG; Pigou, PE; Beattie, R. and Edwards, JW.|
|Abstract:||The emphasis in the literature regarding illicit drugs has been overwhelmingly on the subject of harm caused by their ingestion. Little has been reported on the potential and real harm associated with the illicit manufacture of drugs. This paper describes the increasing prevalence of clandestine drug laboratories in Australia, overwhelmingly devoted to the manufacture of methamphetamine. The nature of the illicit synthetic process is reviewed together with its inherent dangers for the 'cook', first responders and bystanders including children, and the environment. We have analysed the emerging trends in manufacture and seizure in Australia, and offer suggestions to remedy significant deficiencies in knowledge and policy in the management of clandestine drug laboratories, especially with reference to clinical management issues, data collection, environmental contaminants and remediation, legislation and research. In particular, we conclude that: The problem of clandestine drug laboratories is growing in Australia, reflecting patterns world-wide. There are significant health and environmental implications of this growth. First responders should ensure that specialised expertise is available when decommissioning detected laboratories. Clinicians should familiarise themselves with the types of injuries associated with clandestine drug manufacture. Legislatures without a clandestine drug laboratory registry should establish one. Where it doesn't exist, legislation should be sought to curb the spread of this unwanted phenomenon. Significant opportunities exist for further research into the harm caused to first responders, the community, and the environment by clandestine laboratories.|
|Keywords:||Humans; Methamphetamine; Hazardous Substances; Environmental Exposure; Drug and Narcotic Control; Laboratories; Emergency Medical Services; Australia; Illicit Drugs|
|Appears in Collections:||Surgery publications|
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