Pubdate: Sat, 08 Oct 2016
Source: Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI)
Copyright: 2016 Journal-Pioneer
Author: Ryan Ross
Page: A7


MLAs hear methamphetamine has replaced prescription pills as biggest
drug issue in P.E.I.

It used to be prescription pills. Now if anyone asks RCMP Cpl. Andy
Cook what the biggest problem drug is in P.E.I. he says it's
methamphetamine. "We've gone from a downer to an upper as our biggest
problem here," he said. Cook joined RCMP Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton
for a presentation Friday to MLAs on the health and wellness
committee. During the presentation, Cook said he wasn't going to give
the credit to the police for the reduction in opiate use. "To me it's
the methadone program has made the biggest difference in regards to
the prescription opiate problem here," he said.

The police in P.E.I. have been seeing that shift from opiates to
methamphetamine on the streets in the price people are paying for the
pills. RCMP Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton meets with MLAs on the health
and wellness committee to talk about drugs and other issues in P.E.I.
on Friday in Charlottetown. Cook said the going rate for
methamphetamine, also known as speed, is about $4 or $5 per pill,
which is down from $8 to $10 a few years ago. "When you see the prices
dropping like that it means there's a glut in the market," he said.

In P.E.I., the police have also seen a big increase in the number of
methamphetamine pills they have seized in recent years. Cook told the
MLAs police seized 267.5 methamphetamine pills in 2013. That has
jumped to more than 4,000 this year. Crampton, who has given expert
evidence in drug cases, said methamphetamine is worse and more
addictive than heroin.

"It's cheaper. It's easier. You can make it in your home," she

P.E.I. is fortunate to be behind what the West Coast has seen in terms
of methamphetamine use, which will help in dealing with the problem,
Crampton said.

"The benefit for us is that we are ahead of it."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt