Key findings

  • Data from the Chemical Drugs Intelligence Database indicate that methylamphetamine powder (speed) predominates in the Victorian methylamphetamine market, accounting for an overall average 55% of all seizures between 2004 and 2007.
  • Other forms of this drug in Victoria include methylamphetamine base (base), crystalline methylamphetamine (ice/crystal) and methylamphetamine tablets, the latter typically being sold as ecstasy.
  • In 2007, tablets remained the lowest purity form, with an average purity of less than 10% between 2004 and 2007. The proportion of methylamphetamine seizures accounted for by the ice/crystal form increased between 2004 and 2007; the average purity of this form decreased from 52% in 2004 to 32% in 2007.
  • Between 2004 and 2007, there appeared to be no association between methylamphetamine forms and cutting agents used. Adulterants included sugars, caffeine, MSM and pharmaceuticals such as paracetamol and ephedrines; substantial proportions were unidentified.
  • There are risks associated with the use of a substance with unproven content and purity. Clarification and dissemination of these findings, including the different forms and purities, is recommended to ensure that public health and education messages are credible and effective.
  • The situation in Victoria is unique in that all seizures are analysed. This provides a more comprehensive evidence base that can be used to inform policy than is currently available in other states and territories. Wider implementation of this approach across all jurisdictions is recommended.


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Date Commenced
01 Apr 2008
Resource Type
Drug Trends Bulletins