Pubdate: Wed, 15 Sep 2004
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Duncan News Leader
Author:  Jennifer Hourihan
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Crystal methamphetamine is in the Cowichan Valley, and the drug is already 
messing up young people.

"We have this problem coming at us very quickly in Duncan," said Margaret 
Hess, executive director of the Cowichan Mental Health Association. "We'd 
like to think that we have this nice little town where nothing happens, but 
that's not the case. We're seeing kids get into major trouble with this."

While the drug is already here, Hess says knowledge about it lags behind.

That's why the CMHA is putting on a video and discussion on crystal meth 
next Wednesday evening.

The drug is easy to cook up from fairly common chemicals, making it cheap 
to purchase and readily available.

That's a problem, Hess says, because it's also highly addictive.

"It has the ability to be addictive within a week of using it," she said. 
"If kids buy $50 worth, that's enough to keep them going long enough to 
become addicted."

The drug is known to cause short-term brain damage, and while it's too new 
for the long-term effects to be known doctors believe that damage could be 

Next week's discussion will include a video made by a group of Victoria 
youth exploring their own experiences with crystal meth addiction, and a 
video by Victoria doctor Doug McGhee who has researched crystal meth.

Also in attendance will be members of the local theatre group Acting Out, 
who hope to begin presenting their play on crystal meth entitled Crystal 
Diagnosis in October.

Hess is also hoping for representation from the RCMP and addictions counselors.
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