Methamphetamine

At a global level, the most important ATS in terms of quantities manufactured and trafficked is methamphetamine. In 2003 the greatest quantities continued to be produced and seized in East and South-East Asia (China, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand), followed by North America (United States) (CND, 2005). Methamphetamine production in Europe is on a much smaller scale. In 2003, clandestine methamphetamine laboratories were detected and reported by the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania and Slovakia (Reitox national reports, 2004; CND, 2005). In the Czech Republic, production of methamphetamine has been reported since the early 1980s (UNODC, 2003a); most is destined for local consumption, although some of it is smuggled to Germany and Austria (Czech national report, 2004). In 2003, the Czech authorities reported an increase in the production of ‘pervitin’ (local methamphetamine) from branded pharmaceutical products as a result of a lack of ephedrine (the precursor of methamphetamine) on the local black market. Although data on methamphetamine seizures are not systematically collected by the EMCDDA, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania and Norway report having made such seizures in 2003. In addition, Denmark reported that methamphetamine is increasingly common in the illicit drug market, and Latvia reported an increased quantity (0.8 tonnes) of ephedrine seized in 2003 (compared with 2002) (Reitox national reports, 2004).

In 2003, the retail price of ‘pervitin’ in the Czech Republic was reported to range from €16 to €63 per gram (75), while purity varied between 50 % and 75 % (76).


(75) See Table PPP-4 (part i) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(76) See Table PPP-8 (part i) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.