Pharmaceutical sales of pseudoephedrine: the impact of electronic tracking systems on methamphetamine crime incidents

Mazerolle, Lorraine, Mcguffog, Ingrid, Ferris, Jason and Chamlin, Mitchell B. (2017) Pharmaceutical sales of pseudoephedrine: the impact of electronic tracking systems on methamphetamine crime incidents. Addiction, 112 3: 468-474. doi:10.1111/add.13648


Author Mazerolle, Lorraine
Mcguffog, Ingrid
Ferris, Jason
Chamlin, Mitchell B.
Title Pharmaceutical sales of pseudoephedrine: the impact of electronic tracking systems on methamphetamine crime incidents
Journal name Addiction   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1360-0443
0965-2140
Publication date 2017-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/add.13648
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 112
Issue 3
Start page 468
End page 474
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2701 Medicine (miscellaneous)
2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
Abstract Background and aims: Electronic tracking systems (ETS) are used extensively in pharmacies across the United States and Australia to control suspicious sales of pseudoephedrine. This study measures the impact of one ETS–Project STOP—on the capacity of police to reduce production, supply and possession of methamphetamine. Design: Using official police data of incidents of production, supply and possession from January 1996 to December 2011 (n = 192 data points/months over 16 years), we used a quasi-experimental, time–series approach. Setting: The State of Queensland, Australia. Participants: No individual participants are included in the study. The unit of analysis is reported police incidents. Measurements: The study examines the impact of the ETS on production (n = 5938 incidents), drug supply and trafficking (n = 20 094 incidents) and drug possession or use (n = 118 926) of methamphetamine. Findings: Introduction of the ETS in November 2005 was associated with an insignificant decrease (P = 0.15) in the production of methamphetamine. The intervention was associated with a statistically significant increase in supply incidents (P = 0.0001). There was no statistically significant effect on the incidence of possession (P = 0.59). Conclusions: Electronic tracking systems can reduce the capacity of people to produce methamphetamine domestically, but seem unlikely to affect other aspects of the methamphetamine problem such as possession, distribution and importation.
Formatted abstract
Background and aims: Electronic tracking systems (ETS) are used extensively in pharmacies across the United States and Australia to control suspicious sales of pseudoephedrine. This study measures the impact of one ETS-Project STOP-on the capacity of police to reduce production, supply and possession of methamphetamine. Design: Using official police data of incidents of production, supply and possession from January 1996 to December 2011 (n = 192 data points/months over 16 years), we used a quasi-experimental, time-series approach. Setting: The State of Queensland, Australia. Participants: No individual participants are included in the study. The unit of analysis is reported police incidents. Measurements: The study examines the impact of the ETS on production (n = 5938 incidents), drug supply and trafficking (n = 20094 incidents) and drug possession or use (n = 118926) of methamphetamine. Findings: Introduction of the ETS in November 2005 was associated with an insignificant decrease (P = 0.15) in the production of methamphetamine. The intervention was associated with a statistically significant increase in supply incidents (P = 0.0001). There was no statistically significant effect on the incidence of possession (P = 0.59). Conclusions: Electronic tracking systems can reduce the capacity of people to produce methamphetamine domestically, but seem unlikely to affect other aspects of the methamphetamine problem such as possession, distribution and importation.
Keyword Drug production
Drug supply
Electronic tracking systems
Methamphetamine
Project STOP
Pseudoephedrine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 7 December 2016

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
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Created: Tue, 24 Jan 2017, 14:16:21 EST by Mr Mathew Carter on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)