Steroid seizures up 103% but marijuana is the drug of choice
STEROID seizures in Queensland have increased by 103% in the past year, according to a new report.
The Australian Crime Commission's 2012-13 Illicit Drugs Report shows a 2038% increase in the weight of steroid seizures compared to 2011-12, while related arrests were up 32.4%.
However, State Crime Command Drug and Serious Crime branch's Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said the numbers could be misleading.
"When you're talking image-enhancing performance drugs, you're talking low numbers. I think there's something like 89 people arrested in the state for possession of steroids," he said.
"So when you say 2000%, I think there's only probably an increase of 30 something that have been arrested."
Det Supt Wacker said police rarely targeted places specifically for steroids.
"The majority of our search warrants are illicit drug-related and it's during the execution of those warrants that we find steroids at those premises; to have an actual steroid operation, they're few and far between," he said.
Marijuana though, remains the drug of choice in Queensland and, in fact, throughout Australia. Queensland had the largest number of seizures and the most cannabis-related arrests, although statistics were comparable with the previous year.
Within the report a number of initiatives to combat drug use were detailed, including last year's Operation Greensmoke.
The objective was to educate police, industry - such as the mining sector - and the community about new and emerging drugs such as synthetic cannabis and 'bath salts'.
There were no state-by-state figures in the report for synthetic drugs though the amount seized by weight increased by 139.3%.
A number of concerns have been raised about how these substances are marketed as legal alternatives.
The report said there was limited research or knowledge about the health consequences of these drugs.