Four Corners Documentary Investigates Australia's Methamphetamine Crisis

Australia's meth crisis exposed: 'Meth Highway' documentary delves into the drug's supply chains, organized crime, and devastating impact on individuals and communities.

Geeta Pillai
New Update
Four Corners Documentary Investigates Australia's Methamphetamine Crisis

Four Corners Documentary Investigates Australia's Methamphetamine Crisis

The Four Corners documentary 'Meth Highway,' available on ABC iview as of April 23, 2024, examines the devastating consequences of Australia's addiction to crystal meth, also known as 'ice.' The program explores the drug's murky supply chains and the faceless figures profiting at the top, aiming to shed light on the broader issues surrounding the methamphetamine crisis in the country.

Australia has become one of the world's biggest meth markets, with around 10.5 tonnes of the drug consumed in the country last year, costing an estimated $10 billion. The documentary follows the supply chain of meth from its source in Southeast Asia to the people who control the trade, including powerful militia and Chinese syndicates.

The program features interviews with key players in the drug trade, such as 'Brendan,' a meth cook who explains the process of cutting and extending the product to maximize profits. It also highlights the changing nature of the meth trade in Australia, with more drugs being imported from overseas rather than produced domestically.

The documentary emphasizes the highly secretive and violent nature of the illicit drug trade, with Asian organized crime syndicates like the Triads playing a significant role in regulating the supply chain through the use of force. Jay, a former high-level distributor, and Johnny, an enforcer who worked for the Triads, provide insights into the complex network of manufacturers, traffickers, enforcers, and distributors involved.

Why this matters: The methamphetamine epidemic in Australia has far-reaching consequences, not only for individuals struggling with addiction but also for communities grappling with the social and economic fallout. Understanding the complex web of the drug trade is critical in developing effective strategies to combat this crisis and protect vulnerable populations.

The devastating consequences of the meth epidemic are witnessed firsthand by outreach workers Jane and Mike, who see the chaos and drug-induced psychosis affecting homeless users on the streets. "The waste of human potential is what I find most distressing," Jane says, highlighting the urgent need for intervention and support for those caught in the grip of addiction.

Key Takeaways

  • The documentary 'Meth Highway' examines Australia's crystal meth crisis.
  • Australia is one of the world's biggest meth markets, consuming 10.5 tonnes annually.
  • The documentary follows the meth supply chain from Southeast Asia to organized crime syndicates.
  • The meth trade is highly secretive and violent, with Asian gangs controlling the supply chain.
  • The meth epidemic has devastating social and economic consequences for individuals and communities.