The chemical street drug methamphetamine, or "meth", is becoming more popular than cocaine or heroin in many countries, experts at a conference in Prague said Monday.
Participants at the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine discussed how public health, law enforcement and civil society can join to tackle a social issue that only looks to get worse.
"The rates of amphetamine-type stimulants have increased more than any other drug group worldwide," said Louisa Deghenardt, from the Australian Drug and Alcohol research center.
The challenge for those fighting the problem is that, compared to most drugs, "meth" is quite simple to make.
Methamphetamine can be easily made from household products and improvised equipment and by people with little or no education and training, according to the US Drug enforcement administration.
The US experts added that the simplicity of the drug is a principal reason for its rapid worldwide expansion.
And the trend is particularly affecting young people.
"Meth users appear to be a younger population than opioid users and different strategies may be required to target this group," said Deghenardt.
Approximately 34 million people worldwide have consumed amphetamine-type stimulants at least once in the past twelve months, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.