Pubdate: Sat, 22 Oct 2005
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Rob Shaw, Victoria Times Colonist
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Pharmacists from across Canada could draft a national strategy to 
battle the rising problem of crystal meth during a meeting in 
Victoria this weekend.

Such a consensus would help prevent the abuse of pharmacy products 
such as rubbing alcohol, iodine and over-the-counter cold medication, 
just a few of the ingredients bought separately but mixed in a lab to 
create cheap and addictive crank.

"We want to make sure that the people who are working in our 
pharmacies, the pharmacists, technicians, assistants, even employees 
stocking shelves and cashiers, know what to look for when they see an 
increase in purchase patterns for the ingredients to make crystal 
meth," said Marc Kealey, chief executive officer of the Ontario 
Pharmacists' Association.

If pharmacists can better prevent methamphetamine makers from buying 
the products they need, they could help attack the country's growing 
crystal meth problem at the source, said Kealey.

Crystal meth, which can be smoked, snorted, injected or swallowed, is 
cheap to make in bulk and provides a long-lasting high. It also 
damages the body's nervous system.

Kealey is leading the charge against the drug after his association 
released a nine-point plan in August to educate pharmacists, 
schoolchildren and the public.

"We know that there's an increase in volume, not only in Victoria, 
but in smaller communities around the province in terms of increases 
in crystal meth," Kealey said in an interview Friday.
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