Pubdate: Wed, 17 May 2006
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 BC Newspaper Group and New Media Development
Author: Monique Tamminga


The impact crystal meth has on Langley has been made into a

Langley's police officers, firefighters and a local recovered addict
appear in the latest crystal meth education video called Cold As Ice,
which premiered at Langley City Fire Hall on Thursday.

Produced by award-winning director and producer Michael Neitzel, (who
created the first crystal meth documentary Death by JIB), Cold As Ice
shows the dangers Langley's first responders deal with when
encountering addicts high on crystal meth and the environmental and
safety impacts meth labs have on the community.

Among some of the video's stars are Sgt. Dave Fleugel of the Langley
RCMP drug section, fraud division Cpl. Tim Kreiter and City deputy
fire chief Bruce Dundas.

"This DVD provides a comprehensive snapshot of the crystal meth
phenomena and explores the impact of this drug on the user, the family
and the community," says Kevin Letourneau, manager of Peace Arch
Community Services addiction services program, who showed the video
for the first time at Langley City Fire Hall.

"We believe the information on the DVD will be a very valuable
resource for students, parents, counsellors, social workers, probation
officers, nurses, firefighters, police, educators and

More than 150 copies have been made with intentions to get some into
the hands of Langley's MLAs and MP Mark Warawa.

The 32-minute documentary captures the perspectives of numerous
professionals from a doctor in Chicago talking about the increase in
HIV infections to Dundas speaking about the increased dangers
firefighters face discovering a meth lab.

"Exposure to firefighters . . . if they breathe it in, destroys their
lungs. One of our firefighters had his wrist exposed and that can have
long-term effects," said Dundas.

If the firefighters' turnout gear is contaminated by a meth lab's
toxic fumes, that firefighting gear must be destroyed.

"Turnout gear costs $4,100 each," he said.

City firefighters are often first responders to crystal meth addicts
who are in the middle of psychosis. In one incident, Dundas recalls
arriving at a house where a 19-year-old girl had lit some curtains on
fire. It took four firefighters to subdue the 90-pound addict, who was
trying to run back into the fire.

"We are first responders to medical calls, so we encounter injury and
violence because of it," he said.

The use of crystal meth has resulted in the epidemic of auto thefts in
the Lower Mainland, said Cpl. Tim Shields in the video.

Last year, 12 people were killed and 128 injured because of crystal
meth addicts being behind the wheel of stolen vehicles, said Shields,
who heads up the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team
(IMPACT) and the Bait Car program.

Kreiter, head of Langley's fraud division, speaks in the video about
addicts who can spend days 'binning' or 'mining' garbages for people's
personal information.

"In my experience, crystal meth is the number one reason for an
increase in credit card theft," he said in the video.

The environmental impact of meth labs is still not completely known,
but many times, the toxic leftovers of a lab are found in local
streams, ditches and fields, said Fleugel, who also spoke about what
it's like to arrest a person who has been up for days on crystal meth.

A mother shares her experience of living with a daughter who used
crystal meth and how she sought help after her daughter hit rock
bottom and tried to kill her. Two former users, one from White Rock,
the other from Abbotsford, describe their irrational paranoia and psychosis.

This is the second DVD on crystal meth produced by PACS in partnership
with Fraser Health.

The first, Death by Jib, has been viewed by thousands of young people
across Canada. The hard-hitting video is making a difference, said
Letourneau and Neitzel.

"They're getting the message that it's dangerous. On blogs, they
(teens) are writing that crystal meth is dangerous and disgusting," he

Neitzel is working with some students in an alternative program in
Maple Ridge and those kids told him they won't touch it. But there is
still work to be done in education to stop this harmful drug from
reaching an epidemic like it has in some cities in the U.S., said Letourneau.

To order copies of the DVD call PACS at 604-538-2522, local 227; or go
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake