Nearly £1 billion worth of crystal meth encased in marble in Australias largest drugs bust World

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Royal Marines from 42 Commando, the UK military’s specialists in these operations, seized control of the vessel in choppy conditions, before sailors moved in to search for illegal cargo.

meth seizure

While this approach is more complex than a traditional calibration curve it gives the analysts an understanding of the matrix effect impacting the sample. Counsellors and medical experts stress not all ice users end up addicts or psychotic, and stereotypical side effects such as tooth loss and skin issues depend on the quality of the product and the frequency of use. But flooding the brain with these chemicals can cause an ‘overload’ in the system which is why some people can’t sleep for days or experience symptoms of after taking ice. The initial effects of ice – including increased attention, alertness and talkativeness – often last for between four and 12 hours depending on how much ice is consumed.

Consequences of Meth-Induced BBB Disruption

Cells other than brain microvascular endothelial cells are responsible for BBB integrity. Astrocytes extend their endfeet to contact endothelial cells and help to stabilize and maintain BBB function . One protein on astrocytes, β-dystroglycan, crosslinks astrocytic endfeet to endothelial cells and helps maintain a hydrophobic barrier and regulates aquaporin 4 localization. Thus, decreased expression of β-dystroglycan expression or truncation of its full form may prevent the localization of AQP4 to astrocytic endfeet and compromise the ability of AQP4 to regulate water clearance in the brain parenchyma (Papadopoulos et al., 2004).

  • The National Drugs Strategy Household Survey shows indigenous people aged 14 years and over are 2.2 times more likely to use methamphetamine than non-Indigenous people.
  • While these are not commonly used for prosecution purposes, they play a strong role informing the forensic analysts towards reliable methamphetamine detection.
  • Thus, a bioenergetic compromise and mitochondrial dysfunction play a role in Meth-induced monoaminergic terminal damage.
  • Authorities have found 1.8 metric tons of methamphetamine hidden in marble tiles shipped from the Middle East to Sydney in what police described as the largest-ever seizure of the illicit drug in Australia.

One of the models was based on the principal infrared spectroscopy peaks from the methamphetamine samples and the second approach used a hierarchical partial least squares model. Some important data pre-treatment considerations need to be addressed before chemometric data processing can be done. This includes manipulations such as baseline corrections and, depending on the analytical technique in question, internal standards and retention locking might need to be considered. Analytical instrumentation has advanced significantly in the last decade and, with the aid of spectral data libraries, characterisation for the forensic analyst typically uses some form of automation. It is important to note two aspects of discussion from Table 1.2; the ease of use and the time required for results.

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Previous studies shown that meconium is highly sensitive in detecting neonatal drug exposure (Ostrea et al., 1989; Moriya et al., 1994; Moore et al., 1998). However, a prospective cohort study of 80 mothers and infants, indicated that METH discontinuous and/or sporadic consumption during pregnancy may have negligible transplacental passage and hence negative results in meconium analysis (Joya et al., 2016). Twenty-three newborns with one or two hair shafts positive to drugs of abuse did not present drugs in their meconium. Lack of timeliness is the major drawback of meconium testing. The acquisition time is limited, and the excretion of meconium might be delayed. Because the amniotic fluid is already formed in the first weeks of pregnancy, the presence of drugs in this fluid may indicate exposure during early fetal life.

  • The gut microbiota has a significant role in the harmful effects to offspring due maternal METH abuse during pregnancy, though further investigation is needed.
  • Gelatinase B modulates selective opening of the blood-brain barrier during inflammation.
  • GHB and GBL are both Class C drugs – but GBL is available for legitimate use in industry.
  • After detox, the next step is to enter rehab treatment for drug rehabilitation.

The technology allows determination of the molecular weight of a molecule or fragment of interest, and in its most advanced forms, either tandem or MSn, it has the capacity to accurately identify molecules. The use of spectral libraries is an integral part of mass spectral analysis although it is worth noting that data obtained with hard ionisation sources are generally more easily linked back to a database than data resulting from soft ionisation processes . The take-home message here is that mass spectrometry is a broad technology and the inherent ionisation processes lend the systems to be preferred by analysts for particular types of samples.

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Further, this type of approach enabled the analysts to monitor the drugs in the waste water as the music festival progressed over several days which gives insight into the drug use trends and enables peak usage to be identified. Not surprisingly, consistent with adults, prenatal exposure to METH can also induce behavioral sensitization in offspring. Prenatal METH exposure makes adult rats more sensitive to acute injection of the same or related drugs, and displayed higher drug-seeking behavior than both controls (Alamberová et al., 2012).

Sometimes, in an attempt to help you, your partner or friends enable your drug habit and worsen your addiction. Some find themselves violently grabbing their children for no reason, hitting partners at the slightest provocation, stealing from friends and parents, and generally becoming a terrible person to be around. HMS Montrose has been deployed to the region since early 2019, actively supporting maritime security operations and multi-national task forces in the Middle East, and protecting the interests of the United Kingdom and its allies. Starboard Crew’s relentless efforts have resulted in a substantial seizure of illegal narcotics and I am extremely proud of my team. As a result of this successful bust, our streets our safer and have choked off a huge source of finance to international organised crime groups. A Navy team including Royal Marines approached the small vessel on two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats before securing and searching the vessel.

  • The FTIR images that were generated for the model drugs, in this case paracetamol and ibuprofen, were a significant advancement in the field at the time.
  • With continuous flooding of the brain, it creates an imbalance in dopamine-controlled activity, until you need large doses of crystal meth to perform these basic functions.
  • Thus prenatal METH exposure may affect maternal health and also increase the risk of pregnancy complications like hypertension and preeclampsia during pregnancy as well as cause short- or long-term damage to the fetus.
  • Virginia Perkins was an apparently respectable middle-aged mother from Sydney’s northern beaches who ended up bankrupt in a drug-induced psychosis after breaking bad at the age of 44.

Authorities have found 1.8 metric tons of methamphetamine hidden in marble tiles shipped from the Middle East to Sydney in what police described as the largest-ever seizure of the illicit drug in Australia. The base peak in all the mass spectra appears at m/z 214 and the generation of this ion was proposed showing how the mass spectral interpretation is important in understanding the chemistry of the molecules at hand because the base peak is the most stable fragment ion. This is particularly important when the base peak is the molecular ion because the forensic researchers can gain direct insight into the stability of the molecule which can inform its likelihood to persist in the environment for example.

In addition, rodent studies have shown that Meth produces damage to cell bodies evidenced by increased caspase-mediated proteolysis and TUNEL staining in the striatum and hippocampus (Schmued and Bowyer, 1997; Deng et al., 2001; Warren et al., 2005). Moreover, a study by Zhu et al. observed that parvalbumin-positive γ-aminobutyric acid interneurons and cholinergic interneurons in the striatum undergo apoptosis after a single administration of 30 mg/kg Meth to mice. Meth binge treatment also decreases the number of glutamatergic neurons in the somatosensory cortex (Pu et al., 1996). Therefore, the toxic effects of Meth extend beyond dopaminergic and serotonergic terminals but the mechanisms mediating those effects remain to be determined.

Self-reported history and biomonitoring are the two basic methods to identify drug users. Unfortunately, self-reported history suffers from a problem with authenticity and accuracy (Maisto Sa, 1990; Behnke et al., 2013). A Prospective cross-sectional screening accuracy study conducted by Steven indicated that none of five screening instruments for substance use in pregnancy tested showed both high sensitivity and high specificity (Ondersma et al., 2019). It is needed to provide a destigmatized healthcare environment to encourage pregnant women to disclose their substance use to improve the reliability and validity of self-reported history (Berra et al., 2019). Biomonitoring is another efficient means for early recognition of prenatal exposure to METH. Different biological materials reflect exposures that occur over a specific time period, and each of these has special advantages and disadvantages, with regards to accuracy exposure window and cost/benefit ratio.

£1bn bust as Australia struggles with crystal meth emergency

The Royal Navy has uncovered its largest-ever stash of crystal meth during an operation in the Arabian Sea. In total, more than 1800kg of ‘ice’ – which has an estimated potential street value of more than $1.6 billion – has been detected and seized during this investigation, NSW police announced. The bust smashed the previous record meth haul of 1.6 metric tons, which was found in Melbourne after being transported from Bangkok in April 2019.

Montgomery analyzed 498 umbilical cord tissues for 5 commonly abused drugs and compared the results to those from meconium tests Montgomery et al. and found that umbilical cord tissue tests are sufficient for clinical determination of fetal exposure to METH and other drugs of abuse. Moreover, umbilical cord tissue tests have speedier turnover relative to meconium testing since meconium passing may take days. The value of the placenta as biological material in assessing prenatal METH exposure has been explored (Myllynen et al., 2005; Montgomery et al., 2008; Al-Saleh et al., 2011; Płotka et al., 2013). The placenta is a protective barrier for the fetus through which drugs must pass through, as well as the site for nutrient and substance exchange.

„This type of activity forms part of our ongoing commitment to tackle serious and organised crime through our dedicated initiative Operation Sentinel,” he said. Manor Clinic strives to deliver the best quality of care in the UK, across all of the treatments that we deliver, which include private addictions and co-occurring mental healthcare. MILLIONS of pounds worth of drugs was seized by a Royal Navy warship from a frigate in the Middle East. “This type of activity forms part of our ongoing commitment to tackle serious and organised crime through our dedicated initiative Operation Sentinel.

meth seizure

This type of approach has been used to look at the localisation of licit substances73 and has been refined for more recent case work applications, an example of which was developed by Lanzarotta and co-workers74 for cocaine HCl salt identification within complex samples. The advantage of this type of approach can be seen in Figure 1.5 where the cocaine is visually distinguished from the excipients allowing the forensic scientist to get a better eco sober house rating handle on the sample matrix and aid training in this area. The team used 1604 cm−1, 2460 cm−1, 2723 cm−1 and 2966 cm−1 for sample interrogation and described the key considerations for chemometric approaches towards comprehensive sample identification. The key driver of this approach was the long turnaround time with the identification and quantification methods at that point within the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services.

Consequently, ammonia may result in oxidative damage of endothelial cells or activation of MMPs. In addition, excess ammonia can result in neuroinflammation marked by increases in microglial and astrocytic activation, pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandin E2 (Rodrigo et al., 2010; Bemeur and Butterworth, 2012). Thus, ammonia may also be a contributing factor to Meth-induced BBB damage via oxidative, excitotoxic and/or inflammatory dependent manners. The role of ROS and RNS in Meth-induced monoaminergic terminal damage is well-established. Antioxidants such as N-acetyl-L-cysteine, ascorbic acid and vitamin E and NOS inhibitors attenuate Meth-induced striatal DA and 5-HT depletions (Wagner et al., 1985; De Vito and Wagner, 1989; Abekawa et al., 1996; Imam et al., 2001a; Fukami et al., 2004; Eyerman and Yamamoto, 2007).

In August, the southern Sydney port was the scene of Australia’s largest ever police seizure of crystal meth, or “ice”, as it is known on the streets. The haul, weighing almost two tonnes, had a street value close to £1 billion, a figure even case-hardened police officers called “staggering”. 9 News Australia reports on another major drugs bust at sea last year and, below, a vintage Bentley allegedly used to conceal some of the £1bn of crystal meth seized last month. Pretreatment with ascorbic acid attenuates the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine in rats. Competitive and noncompetitive antagonists at N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors protect against methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic damage in mice. Recovery of presynaptic dopaminergic functioning in rats treated with neurotoxic doses of methamphetamine.

Never mix G with alcohol as these 2 substances interact and can lead to death. Platform technology towards the chemical fingerprinting methamphetamine from ephedrine pathways, Deakin University, 2016, Search PubMed. 1H NMR spectra of a cocaine hydrochloride sample obtained at 600 MHz in D2O. The inset shows signals at 5.57 ppm , 5.98 ppm and 6.54 ppm , used in quantification of cocaine, cis-cinnamoylcocaine and trans-cinnamoylcocaine, respectively. Reproduced from ref. 89 with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Copyright 2018. Mass spectral information collected at each step of the synthetic pathway for methamphetamine production.

This approach is most commonly used to inform workplace safety therefore illicit substances such as amphetamines, cannabis, opiates, benzodiazepines and cocaine are typically the target analytes. The technique has been applied to a wide variety of drug samples, has enabled detection of compounds in complex matrices and has stripped out key chemical information from high purity samples. When considering high purity samples, it is important to note that the excipients and by-products are often in low concentrations and as such batch-to-batch sample comparisons are more difficult. An example of the type of data generated is shown in Figure 1.16.