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Reducing the Methamphetamine Problem in Australia: Evaluating Innovative Partnerships Between Police, Pharmacies and Other Third Parties

NCJ Number
Janet Ransley; Lorraine Mazerolle; Matt Manning; Ingrid McGuffog; Jacqueline M. Drew; Julianne Webster
Date Published
59 pages
This report documents the development and characteristics of partnerships between the police and third parties in efforts to reduce sales of pseudoephedrine (chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine) in Australia, and examines the wider impact of these efforts in the areas of treatment, prevention, and harm-reduction related to methamphetamine use in Queensland and Victoria.
The partnership approach consists of police establishing selective and strategic cooperation with organizations and individuals in order to address a public-safety issue. The particular police partnership developed in responding to the methamphetamine problem in Australia consists of police working with community pharmacists in order to reduce the supply of illicitly diverted pseudoephedrine, which is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. A partnership developed by the Queensland branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Queensland Police Service is called Project STOP. The main feature of Project STOP is a real-time, Web-based database for the recording of customer information relevant to the purchase or attempted purchase of pseudoephedrine-based products. This project has gone national under funding from the Federal Government, but with considerable variation among jurisdictions under jurisdictional regulations and legislation. This report concludes that Project STOP works best in an environment where recording and reporting pseudoephedrine sales is mandated by law and where the police agency provides strong and practical support for partnership policing practices. It is also important that consistency be achieved between State and Federal governments in the approach to the control of methamphetamine and the chemicals used in its manufacture. The transfer of good practice in this regard is currently restrained by the differing environments in which Project STOP is implemented. Action should be taken to standardize environments for implementing Project STOP based on shared evaluations of the implementation and operation of Project STOP in various jurisdictions. 8 tables, 1 figure, and 106 references