Pubdate: Tue, 02 Dec 2008
Source: Southern Gazette, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2008 Transcontinental Media
Author: Paul Herridge
Cited: Kids and Drugs: A Parent's Guide to Prevention:
Bookmark: (Youth)


Drug use age younger.

Sgt. Bill Dwyer claims drug use in the province continues to be a
problem - particularly cocaine, 'club drugs' such as ecstasy and the
ever-present marijuana.

At the same time, the average age when young people first try these
substances is dropping, from age 12 for alcohol and marijuana to 15
for club drugs.

"It's getting young, isn't it?"

The provincial co-ordinator for the RCMP's Drug and Organized Crime
Awareness Service indicated the nature of club drugs in particular has
proved alarming.

"Kids seem to think for some reason that these drugs are safe, because
they're in a pill form, most of them - well, you get pills from a
pharmacy or a doctor, so it's got to be safe.

"Not so."

Sgt. Dwyer revealed cocaine has become so plentiful in St. John's the
price per gram has dropped significantly. He also cautioned parents
about marijuana, a drug which some present for the information session
noted had become, in many ways, socially acceptable.

He stressed the marijuana found on the streets today, is not the same
as 30 years ago.

"It's 10 times, 15 times the potency and much more addictive and much
more impairing."

He indicated dealers in St. John's have also been known to lace
marijuana with other highly addictive substances, such as crystal
meth, with users failing to notice.

The purpose of Sgt. Dwyer's visit to the Burin Peninsula last week was

He conducted two information sessions - one in Marystown Wednesday,
and a second in Grand Bank the following night - for parents and
stakeholders interested in learning more about both new and older
drugs hitting the province's streets.

He was also promoting the nationwide 'Kids and Drugs: A Parent's Guide to
Prevention' initiative, a program launched last month, as a joint project
between the RCMP and Alberta Health Services (AHS) - Alberta Alcohol and
Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC).

The program features five sessions for parents, along with a handbook,
with a goal of helping parents talk to their children about drugs.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin