Pubdate: Mon, 01 Nov 2004
Source: Labradorian, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2004 The Labradorian
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


For such a rural setting, there are some very urban-like problems starting 
to surface in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

And one of the more disconcerting dilemmas is the increased use and 
availability of hardcore drugs like cocaine and ecstasy in our community.

Most of us have tried marijuana or even hashish. They are often labeled 
"gateway drugs" because they can lead to more serious drug use. In this 
province, that hadn't been much of an issue in years past because it was 
very difficult to get access to these more serious drugs.

Those days are all but over.

In even the smallest communities in this province, users can now easily get 
access to just about anything -- cocaine, ecstasy and, in some extreme 
cases, heroin. These aren't the "normal" drugs you ground your teenager for 
having in their pocket: these are the tools of personal and community 

A person with a weed or hashish habit spends $20 on a gram of the narcotic, 
and most of them use it "recreationally" in the same way some people would 
have a drink.

A cocaine user spends upwards of $100 per gram of "blow," not because they 
want it, but because they absolutely "need" it.

In this community, many of the people with a cocaine habit can hardly 
afford it, so some of them do what they have to in order to get their fix. 
They steal, commit break and enter, hold up businesses and anything else it 
takes to get the money needed to purchase their nose candy.

Aside from the financial and social effects, there are also serious 
concerns about what these drugs can do to the people who use them.

As chronic as some users can be when it comes to marijuana, you haven't 
seen anything until you've watched a cocaine or heroin addict go through 
withdrawal. It's absolute torture. They're bodies have become designed to 
operate with the drug present -- and when it's not, their bodies actually 
can't function.

Also, over the years, we've heard about marijuana and hashish being cut 
with everything from tea leaves to boot polish as a means by which to 
increase volume and up the profits for dealers.

When marijuana is improperly cut, you'll probably get sick. If cocaine gets 
cut with the wrong substance or too much of it, a user can die.

What's worst of all though is the fact many drug users in modern society 
are quite young -- some are just kids.

This is not a time for ignorance or fear. It's a time for action. Police 
are ready to combat the problem, and so too should parents and everyone 
else in the community. Everyone needs to take a stand to ensure this is not 
a problem that gets out of control.

Otherwise, it is inevitable someone, somehow, will eventually be dealt much 
more than they bargained for.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager