Pubdate: Wed, 28 Sep 2005
Source: North Shore News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 North Shore News
Author: Betty Cameron
Bookmark: (Youth)


Dear Editor:

I too have struggled raising children on the North Shore with 
addictions (Addict's Mom Searches for Help, North Shore News, Sept. 
18; Losing to the Needle, North Shore News, Sept. 11).

My heart goes out to the families of both boys. These boys are (or 
would be) the same age as my children.

My oldest, now 24, dabbled in a lot of substances but his main 
problems were alcohol and pot. I am happy to say that he recently 
celebrated with his one-year cake.

My daughter, who is 22, was in several treatment programs battling 
crystal meth. As a youth, there was only one facility, Peak House, 
that was for children 18 and under. Other than that, you had to be in 
trouble with the law to get a bed in any of the other programs 
around. All together, she went through five different detox and 
recovery programs between the ages of 18 and 21. Last May, she 
entered a recovery program in New Westminster. She used until I 
dropped her off at the door. She threw her pipe out the window on the 
way to the facility. I am happy to say that she has been "clean and 
serene" for almost five months now. A big inspiration to her was 
watching the changes in her brother's life.

Both of the boys in the stories were addicted to heroin. I 
fortunately never had to deal with that drug, but the public needs to 
also be aware of the dangers of crystal meth. A number of our teens 
are addicted to this poison. It is cheap and readily available. For 
those with eating disorders, it is an easy way to "stay slim" without 
purging or starving yourself. And sometimes it is hard to tell that 
they are using, as they learn to hide it well until it is out of control.

Detox and recovery programs are definitely needed, and the North 
Shore is no exception.

I have always been appalled at the lack of services available in such 
an affluent community. Currently, the only services I know of that 
are available on the North Shore is Alternatives. I don't know where 
my kids would be without them.

I too benefitted from counselling sessions there on how to deal with 
my specific horror stories.

More of these services are also needed. I recently attended a meeting 
at the Salvation Army on how to battle crystal meth addiction, and 
was appalled by a couple of ladies that said it was all fine and 
dandy to treat the addicts, but recovery services should not be at 
15th and Lonsdale, as it was their backyard. I guess they would 
rather leave the central Lonsdale area to the dealers and the 
addicts, without trying to help them.

I personally would welcome a recovery house in my neighborhood. My 
daughter is proof that they can save lives.

Betty Cameron

North Vancouver
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