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National calls for major crack down on 'speed'

National calls for major crack down on 'speed'

The National Party says the Government's soft-on-drugs approach has been exposed in a new UN report showing drug use in this country is skyrocketing.

The report shows that the use of amphetamine-type drugs in New Zealand and Australia appears to be among the highest in the world. National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall says he has further proof of spiralling drug use - and today released official information showing that the number of ecstasy tablets intercepted by Customs has increased almost ten-fold in the past three years. "Customs should be congratulated for intercepting these drugs, but the fear is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Drug counsellors in Auckland say ecstasy and methamphetamines are spreading into every part of the community," says Mr Ryall. "While the amount of amphetamines intercepted in the past 12 months is similar to the previous year, most amphetamines in New Zealand are manufactured here by the drug dealing gangs.

"Australia's Justice Minister has told me that most of Australia's methamphetamine is smuggled in from Asia so interception rates figure highly there," says Mr Ryall. "National says the Government must do more to warn and inform New Zealanders about this drug. "People want to know more. A recent public meeting in Papakura on P drew a crowd of 700, while Murupara is to be congratulated on its initiative to be P-free."

Mr Ryall says a fortnight ago, he was at a meeting in South Auckland where a grandfather "trembling with fear and anger" told him how he had to physically restrain his grandson, pinning him down on the ground, until the grandson had finished a P-induced rage. "The grandfather pleaded for families to know the dangers of this drug and where to seek help. He and his family felt they had no one to turn to. "But people must realise that the P epidemic is not just a South Auckland story. More clan labs have been busted in North Shore/Waitakere and Bay of Plenty this year than in South Auckland.

"Earlier this year, I visited a drug treatment clinic and met a former senior company executive who used to smoke P each morning in his locked office. He told me he would search the streets of Auckland in the early hours for methamphetamine and eventually began drug dealing to pay for his habit. This proves that P is affecting all social classes," says Mr Ryall.

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