Overview of actions

In document Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan (Page 24-57)

Part 4: Actions to tackle methamphetamine

4.1 Overview of actions

New Zealand has a mature methamphetamine market, characterised by a hard core of frequent users and well established drug supply routes. Enforcement is more effective in the early stages of drug market development because it can choke off new supply lines before they become entrenched. In a mature market, treatment becomes relatively more important because the main lever for reducing demand is through exiting problematic users into treatment and preventing occasional users becoming problematic.

To achieve a substantial decrease in methamphetamine use, a package of actions has been developed, aimed at controlling supply, reducing demand and limiting problems. The package has five elements:

1. Crack down on precursors: Make PSE-based cold and flu remedies prescription-only, combined with targeted intensified border enforcement to make it hard for criminals to source the raw materials for manufacture;

2. Break drug supply chains: Ensure Police and Customs, with a new strategic and targeted enforcement strategy, focused on the organised criminal groups who dominate this trade;

3. Provide better routes into treatment: Expand treatment capacity, including a dedicated gateway into treatment in the form of social detox beds which will allow clinicians to assess how best to help dependent users. Use every opportunity offered by interaction with frontline government services to direct users towards treatment and recovery;

4. Support communities: Provide more resources for communities and information and education for families to help people resist drugs and assist users into recovery;

and

5. Strengthen governance of drug policy: Make direction of drug policy a higher priority for Customs, Police, Justice and Health.

4.1.1 Summary of actions

The diagram on the next page shows the actions in summary form. The five diagrams on the following pages show how these actions are linked to the overall expected results described in the previous section.

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 23

Crack down on precursors

Stronger controls over methamphetamine precursors by restricting the availability of pseudoephedrine to the general public; combined with Customs and Police activities to

disrupt the illegal importation of pseudoephedrine from China

Methamphetamine supply is controlled

Price (methamphetamine and PSE) Purity

Availability

PSE is controlled

Manufacturers can’t access the products necessary to

make methamphetamine

Clan lab busts and information on substances found in clan labs Information about ease of manufacture Border seizures of methamphetamine and PSE

End the availability of over the counter pseudoephedrine from pharmacies Health

Establish a Precursor Working Group to investigate stronger controls on other precursor chemicals and other products used in the manufacture of methamphetamine Police,

NDIB

Investigate a comprehensive programme of detailed chemical and purity analysis of drug seizures

Customs, Police, NDIB

Equipment and chemical reagents are controlled

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 25 Expand Customs investigations team and technical surveillance capacity to enable more effective follow up to precursor interceptions at the border Introduce measures to increase interception rates of meth- amphetamine and precursors at the border through better risk profiling and targeting Break supply chains

Break supply chains through the implementation of a Control Strategy that proactively targets supply chains with intelligence-led policing; and active use of new legislative tools such as criminal proceeds

recovery, with the forfeited funds being used to control the drug market and treat users

Methamphetamine supply is controlled

Price (methamphetamine and PSE) Purity

Availability

Gangs and other distribution networks are targeted Develop and action a Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy

Police Customs

Ensure agencies are ready to use new legislative tools such as anti- money laundering, organised crime, and search and surveillance Police, Customs

Ensure that Police and Customs advise Immigration of any persons in drug and precursors investigations suspected of being in breach of their permit conditions

Police, Customs, Immigration

Cross agency efforts target supply chains and key individuals

The ability to generate profits is reduced

Dollars and assets recovered from organised crime

People are deterred from the methamphetamine

trade

Methamphetamine supply convictions

Qualitative information about supply chains

Numbers of repeat offenders

Customs

Monies forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 used to fund expansion of AOD treatment and Police/ Customs initiatives to fight organised criminal groups Health, Customs, Police

Provide better routes into treatment

More places in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment for problematic methamphetamine users and better routes into treatment. These services are central

to the success of tackling the methamphetamine problem in New Zealand

Demand for methamphetamine is reduced

Users who report reducing their use

There are fewer frequent users

Levels of use

Methamphetamine related hospital admissions Methamphetamine related convictions Users who have received treatment report a reduction in drug use/frequency of use

Effective treatment is available Increase the capacity of AOD treatment services to provide more spaces for methamphetamine users

Health

Increase AOD workforce capacity and capability to respond effectively to methamphetamine Health

Improve routes into treatment through increased referral of methamphetamine users at an early stage of contact with the Justice system

Police, Justice, Corrections,

Health

Improve routes into treatment through contact with frontline government funded services

Health with other agencies

Bring forward the review of the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 to develop a more effective mechanism to mandate treatment Health

Communities and government agencies help users into treatment

Frequent users who report they are receiving some form of drug treatment

Barriers to frequent users being able to access treatment Access to treatment spaces by region

Prisoners in treatment

Number of users diverted into treatment

Number of methamphetamine users occupying dedicated beds and number assessed by the Alcohol Drug Helpline

Users know how to find help

Percentage of frequent users who sought help but did not receive it

Awareness of Alcohol Drug Helpline

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 27

Support communities

Strengthen best practice interventions already in place, such as Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYADs), and use Community Police to support communities to respond

to methamphetamine locally; build community resilience; and ensure that effective education and information is available

Strengthen best practice community programmes, such as CAYADs Health

Educate families/whānau and users about effects of methamphetamine and how to access treatment through a centralised web resource Health

Increase the reach of school programmes targeted to at-risk youth and families to reduce demand Health,

DHBs

Evaluate, and if promising, encourage innovative local approaches that have demonstrated promise for reducing demand for methamphetamine Health

Promote the new Drug Education Guidelines Education

Effective education and accurate information is available

Demand for methamphetamine is reduced

Prevalence % popn in last 12 months

% popn used at least monthly

% popn young users (16-24) Age of users

Users who report reducing their use

There are fewer frequent users

Levels of use

Methamphetamine related hospital admissions Methamphetamine related convictions

Users who have received treatment report a reduction in drug use/frequency of use

Effective treatment is available

Communities and government agencies help users into

treatment

Frequent users who report they are receiving some form of drug treatment

Barriers to frequent users access to treatment Access to treatment spaces by region Prisoners in treatment

Number of users diverted into treatment Number of methamphetamine users occupying dedicated beds and number assessed by the Alcohol Drug Helpline

Users know how to find help

Percentage of frequent users who sought help but did not receive it

Awareness of Alcohol Drug Helpline

Communities are aware of risks

Drug use knowledge and attitudes survey

Use of website with

methamphetamine information and resources

Strengthen governance

Leadership of action on methamphetamine will be strengthened, to ensure that agencies work together to reduce the use of and harm associated with the drug in New Zealand.

Clear frameworks will guide the work, to ensure that results are achieved

Methamphetamine supply is controlled

Price (methamphetamine and PSE) Purity

Availability

Agencies have clear mandate and the tools to respond smartly to methamphetamine Improve official coordination of drug policy

IACD

Use the monitoring regime for the revised methamphetamine action plan DPMC

Agencies investigate issues and opportunities for Law Commission review of the Misuse of Drugs Act Commission Law

People are deterred from the methamphetamine

trade

Methamphetamine supply convictions Numbers of repeat offenders Qualitative information about supply chains

The ability to generate profits is reduced

Dollars and assets recovered from organised crime

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 29

Crack down on precursors

Overview:

Crack down on precursors through strengthening controls over methamphetamine precursors by restricting the availability of pseudoephedrine (PSE) to the general public from pharmacies; combined with Customs/Police activities to disrupt the illegal importation of PSE from China.

Rationale:

Methamphetamine can be made in basic laboratories from easily available precursor chemicals. In 2008, Customs and Police seized the equivalent of 3m PSE tablets, sufficient to make 150-200kg of methamphetamine with a street value of $150-200m. Strong controls over precursors and other inputs are needed at the border and within New Zealand.

Supply control measures can be used to remove precursors and disrupt supply chains. This makes it more difficult for potential manufacturers to access the precursors and other chemicals required to manufacture methamphetamine in New Zealand. Reduced supply will result, as methamphetamine manufacture is controlled and reduced.

Actions include:

¾ End the availability of over the counter pseudoephedrine from pharmacies

¾ Establish a Precursor Working Group to investigate stronger controls on other precursor chemicals and other products used in the manufacture of methamphetamine

¾ Investigate a comprehensive programme of detailed chemical and purity analysis of drug seizures

Action End the availability of over the counter pseudoephedrine from pharmacies

Cabinet decision Agreed in principle to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to classify pseudoephedrine and ephedrine as Class B2 controlled drugs.

Invited the Associate Minister of Health to direct the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) to give further advice about the amount, level and quantity at and over which PSE/EPH might be presumed to be for supply.

Invited the Associate Minister of Health to report back to the Cabinet Social Policy Committee by 30 November 2009 following the further advice from the EACD with a view to progressing the classification of PSE/EPH.

Invite Medsafe to review the status of PSE as a medicine with a view to delisting it.

Description Making both PSE and EPH based medications prescription only (with tighter than normal prescribing procedures) would make it harder for potential manufacturers to access the key ingredients required to make methamphetamine. One in three clan labs Police discover have evidence of domestically sourced PSE.

The EACD recommends that PSE and EPH should be reclassified as Class B2 controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, making them prescription-only medicines. The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor supports this recommendation, with the suggestion that PSE remain available in hospital pharmacies. As with other Class B2 controlled drugs, Ministerial approval (delegated to Medsafe) would be required before a medical practitioner could prescribe PSE to an individual patient. The prescription would require completion in triplicate, with copies retained by prescriber, pharmacist and Ministry of Health Medicines Control. A number of regulatory requirements would also be required, such as restrictions on dose, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

The EACD has also made a preliminary recommendation that PSE be de-listed as a registered medicine from the Medicines Act. This would mean that it would not be available at all in New Zealand, including by prescription.

While the available evidence suggests that the alternatives, particularly phenylephrine (which now fill 80% of the market) are as clinically effective, industry and public consultation would be required and may slow down reclassification. This measure needs to be taken alongside a crack down on the supply of imported PSE and methamphetamine.

Responsible

agencies Ministry of Health

Timing Report back on classification to Cabinet by 30 November 2009.

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 31 Action Establish a Precursor Working Group to investigate stronger

controls on other precursor chemicals and other products used in the manufacture of methamphetamine

Cabinet decision Invited the Associate Minister of Health and the Minister of Police to establish a Precursor Working Group comprising officials from Police, Health, Customs and Justice, and industry stakeholders to investigate stronger controls on precursor chemicals, reagents and other products used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

Directed the Working Group to report back to the Associate Minister of Health and the Minister of Police by 31 May 2010.

Description The Associate Minister of Health Responsible for Drug Policy and the Minister of Police will establish a Precursor Working Group. The Working Group will sit under the Inter-Agency Committee on Drugs, with the secretariat function performed by the National Drug Intelligence Bureau. Police will draft governance documents and undertake consultation with key agencies. It will comprise officials from Police, Customs, Health and Justice and industry stakeholders to investigate stronger controls on precursor chemicals, reagents and other products used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

Chemical precursors are currently managed through a voluntary agreement between the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council and the NDIB (the Code of Practice for the Management of Illicit Drug Precursor Chemicals in New Zealand).

This regime provides insufficient control over precursors. The Group will review this Code of Practice and consider how it could be strengthened. The Working Group will report back to the Associate Minister of Health Responsible for Drug Policy and the Minister of Police by 31 May 2010.

The Working Group may also consider how to reduce the risk that medicines other than PSE-based remedies may be diverted for illegal purposes. Other jurisdictions report the increasing diversion of prescription medicines for illegal use.

A key risk with tackling methamphetamine is that drug manufacturers will simply develop a new drug to replace methamphetamine, or develop new ways to manufacture methamphetamine using different precursors. This Working Group will help counter this, by assisting to identify new trends, and enabling key agencies to respond quickly.

Responsible

agencies New Zealand Police will develop terms of reference for the Working Group.

National Drug Intelligence Bureau will provide secretariat functions

Timing The Working Group will be established by 1 March 2010. First report back through IACD to joint Ministers (Associate Minister of Health Responsible for Drug Policy and Minister of Police) by 31 May 2010

Action Investigate a comprehensive programme of detailed chemical and purity analysis of drug seizures

Cabinet

decision Invited Police and Customs to report back to Cabinet Social Policy Committee by 30 November 2009 on the costs and benefits of establishing a more comprehensive approach to analysing drug samples.

Description Tracking down the manufacturing of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine is challenging for law enforcement as production is highly adaptable. It can be easily shifted close to consumer markets, close to precursor supplies or where there is perceived to be limited law enforcement attention. In addition the methods of manufacture and even the types of precursor chemicals can be changed. In overseas jurisdictions, drug signature monitoring programmes – comprehensive chemical analysis of seized drug samples - have proven very useful at both a tactical and strategic level in determining the source of drugs. The resulting information is used to inform a targeted enforcement response.

The data obtained from drug signature monitoring programmes can enable better understanding of the methamphetamine importation and distribution networks, links together unconnected investigations and can alert agencies to any changes in manufacturing and supply. Such data can also be used to inform decision-making on policy, legislative and strategic initiatives around methamphetamine manufacture, supply and consumption and offers opportunities for more enhanced monitoring of the impact of interventions (purity of methamphetamine at street level is an indicator, for example). It would enable Police and Customs to build a more accurate picture of the proportion of domestically sourced precursors used in methamphetamine manufacture.

This would enable the systematic and comprehensive analysis of methamphetamine seizures. Currently a low proportion of seized drugs are tested. More information is required on the costs and benefits of such a programme before decisions can be taken.

Responsible

agencies New Zealand Customs Service, New Zealand Police, National Drug Intelligence Bureau

Timing Report back by 30 November 2009

Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan 33

Break supply chains

Overview:

Break supply chains through the implementation of a Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy that proactively targets methamphetamine supply chains with intelligence-led policing; and active use of new legislative tools such as criminal proceeds recovery, with the forfeited funds being used to control the drug market and treat users

Rationale:

Methamphetamine supply chains, largely controlled by gangs and organised criminal groups, have proven hard to break in New Zealand. Overseas experience suggests that well established drug networks can become more innovative in their response to increased enforcement.

Enforcement agencies need to work together in a focused way, led by intelligence, using the most appropriate tools, to break supply chains at key points, and reduce the supply of methamphetamine in New Zealand.

Supply control measures can disrupt markets, remove precursors and finished product, decrease purity and raise prices to reduce consumption. Police can disrupt supply chains with operations and arrests. To break cycles, Courts can divert users into treatment, rather than prison; and use asset forfeiture to discourage methamphetamine supply.

Actions include:

¾ Develop and action a Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy

¾ Introduce measures to increase interception rates of methamphetamine and precursors at the border through better risk profiling and targeting

¾ Expand Customs investigations team and technical surveillance capacity to enable more effective follow up to precursor interceptions at the border

¾ Ensure agencies are ready to use new legislative tools such as anti-money laundering, organised crime, and search and surveillance

¾ Enable monies forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 to be used to fund expansion of alcohol and other drug treatment and Police/

Customs initiatives to fight organised criminal groups

¾ Improve coordination to ensure that Immigration is alerted when individuals in breach of permit conditions appear to be involved in drug operations

Develop and action a Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy Cabinet decision Noted that Police has developed a Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy which

will be implemented by November 2009.

Description Police has identified that increased national coordination is required to better identify and disrupt methamphetamine supply chains throughout New Zealand. By targeting methamphetamine and the funds of organised criminal networks it is also possible to make an impact on acquisitive crime.

The Tasking and Coordination group within Police National Headquarters will be used to gather intelligence and turn it into operational activity that is focussed on identifying the most effective methods for reducing the availability of methamphetamine.

The Police Methamphetamine Control Strategy will include specific actions on:

Prevention; Intelligence; Enforcement; [Community] Reassurance; and Support. It will cover Police actions in the following areas:

• Seeking international cooperation via Police International Services Group and international partner agencies. The aim is to identify overseas criminal enterprises who target New Zealand, allowing for interventions preventing such groups setting

• Seeking international cooperation via Police International Services Group and international partner agencies. The aim is to identify overseas criminal enterprises who target New Zealand, allowing for interventions preventing such groups setting

In document Tackling Methamphetamine: an Action Plan (Page 24-57)