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  1. #1

    Crystal meth crisis

    Western Canadian experts converge to deal with crystal meth crisis
    Nov. 14, 2004
    by TIFFANY CRAWFORD

    VANCOUVER (CP) - Ice, jib, glass or speed, whatever street name it may take, experts agree the highly addictive drug crystal meth is a terrifying problem in North America.

    Now, hundreds of those experts are converging on Vancouver this week for a conference to address the escalating crystal meth crisis. More than 250 delegates, health-care workers, police and social service providers are meeting for the first Western Summit on Methamphetamine.

    "This is quite a milestone and accomplishment," said Kathleen Butler, spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health, one of the sponsors of the event.

    "It's the first time ever that stakeholders from across Western Canada are meeting to look at this and develop an approach."

    Butler said it's a serious problem.

    Dubbed the Dark Crystal by many, the drug can be bought for as cheap as $5 a hit and the effects can last for days, keeping users awake and sleep-deprived.

    But even more unsettling is the slew of over-the-counter chemicals the synthetic stimulant -increasingly popular with highschool youth-can be made from.

    Battery acid, brake fluid, floor-stripper and flammable retardants found in fireworks are just a few of the ready-made products that make up the glass-like shards that users usually smoke or snort.

    "It's so addictive," said Rob Morgan, a spokesman for the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. Morgan has tried crystal meth himself.

    "It scared the hell out of me."

    Morgan recalled Sunday how he has watched friends of his who live in Vancouver's drug-ridden Downtown Eastside destroy their lives because of the vile drug.

    He said one of his friends now talks to herself.

    "She's not all there, you know, mentally," he said in a telephone interview from Victoria.

    "She was a really nice person and it's really sad."

    VANDU will have a crystal meth committee attending the conference to address the problem of addiction, Morgan said.

    The drug first became popular in the rave scene but has spread to mainstream use across social strata, from high school youth to professionals, according to the city's Methamphetamine Response Committee.

    MARC is comprised of community and civic agencies in Vancouver.

    The dangers of jib include elevated blood pressure and risk of stroke. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, mental confusion, and violence.

    Long-term use may lead to permanent psychotic symptoms.

    The results of the summit will be used in a guidance document that will show communities how they can best tackle the problems of use and production.

    Delegates will focus on five key questions ranging on issues from health solutions to law enforcement concerns.

    The summit is jointly funded by the B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba governments.

    Okanagan band chiefs in B.C.'s Interior have forged a partnership in their war against drug dealers living on reserve in the wake of a shooting they believe may have involved crystal meth.

    First Nations leaders and social workers formed the group after the Oct. 30 shooting on the Penticton Indian reserve that left three men dead and another three injured.

    The leaders are convinced the drug played a significant role.

    "That's the dangers of it, it can really screw up your life," said Morgan.

  2. Crystal meth crisis

    Hello Mr. Baxter,

    I'm not sure if you'll remember me, however I was on the site a lot in October and November '04. A good report.
    I'm back and clean, both my husband and I. Forty nine days and tally going up. God's grace for me has been sufficient and family can change the direction of it's members with tough love. Restoration is sweet. We count ourselves as extremely fortunate and blessed. Teaching my children to be merciful I had no idea would apply to me in such a way. This site did alot to keep me searching for the answers as the problem remained in my mind.
    I do not boast as I fully respect the fact such things could return should I let my guard down. Today I am accountable and healthy. Tomorrow, I am human. My fortune is my freedom of choice. Thank you for being here. A candle in darkness.
    Sincerely,
    Sheila Toldness

  3. #3

    Crystal meth crisis

    That's wonderful, Sheila. Thanks for the update.

    And congratulations on finding the strength and not giving up. You should be proud of what you have accomplished.

  4. #4

    Crystal meth crisis

    Wow! Thanks for sharing, Sheila! You have much to be proud of, and you offer a lot of encouragement to others who are struggling as you have struggled. Kudos to you!

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