WATERLOO REGION - Sally has been taking drugs since her mother
introduced her to them when she was 14.
Today, the 26-year-old Kitchener woman is on methadone to curb her
But Sally, not her real name, still does illicit drugs like crystal
Her drug of choice is crack but last summer while looking for a hit,
she bought a "point" of fentanyl and injected it (a point is one-tenth
of a gram). She doesn't want to do it again but fears it could be
laced in the drugs she usually buys.
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WATERLOO REGION - Five years ago, local paramedics responded to one
opioid overdose a week.
Now the rate is almost two overdoses every day.
"Where does it end?" says Robert Crossan, deputy chief of the Region
of Waterloo Paramedic Services.
The drug at the core of the crisis is fentanyl - a painkiller 80 times
stronger than morphine.
It's a pain medication prescribed and taken by patients through
But 'bootleg' fentanyl is coming in from China, and trace amounts - as
small as grains of salt - are being mixed with heroin and cocaine sold
on the streets.
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Penticton's mayor is applauding a recent B.C. Supreme Court decision
that ruled local governments do indeed have the right to regulate
medical marijuana dispensaries. "The judge clearly stated that even
though the use of marijuana is federally regulated, the federal law
does not authorize access to medical marijuana from dispensaries and
municipalities are not precluded from putting in regulations to
control them," Andrew Jakubeit said in a statement.
"This decision is welcomed as it provides further clarity on our
rights and obligations to control dispensaries and gives added
strength to our enforcement policy."
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Ends always justify the means for those striving to do good, no matter
the cost to life, liberty and truth.
The truth about hard drugs, such as heroin, is blunt - it destroys
lives and it kills. With each injection, intravenous drug users on the
Downtown Eastside of Vancouver are slowly, sometimes quickly, killing
themselves. I believe these people are well aware of this fact. How
could they not? The risk of death is an ever-present danger that is
impossible for any hard-drug user to ignore, let alone plead ignorance.
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Last month, my colleague Laurie P. died of overdose, one of 116 fatal
ODs in B.C. in January. She was a harm reduction activist and had a
graceful, inclusive style of community organizing.
We've been here before.
During prohibition, people got sick and died from potent or
contaminated bootlegged booze. Organized crime flourished. Then,
liquor was legalized again.
It's time to do the same with hard drugs.
In 2001, Portugal decriminalized possession of all drugs. Overdose
deaths and HIV transmission rates fell. Drug use is down and treatment
is up. Trafficking remains illegal but users get health services, not
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The mother of a teenage girl who was subjected to a strip search at
l'Ecole secondaire de Neufchatel has dropped a lawsuit requesting
damages of $383,000 against the Quebec City school board and the
A settlement was reached between the parties early this month, Le
Soleil reports. The civil court case was scheduled to begin Feb. 20
before Judge Daniel Dumais of the Superior Court.
The girl's mother obtained the consent of the school board to drop the
case without being subjected to any fees after two years and multiple
judiciary procedures. The lawyers of both parties confirmed the
settlement, but were unwilling to provide reasons.
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In light of the recent death of popular Kanata teenager Chloe Kotval
from an apparent drug overdose, and warnings from Ottawa police and
Ottawa Public Health about counterfeit prescription drugs they suspect
have been the cause of "recent life-threatening overdoses" in the
city, on Saturday, concerned father Sean O'Leary posted an emotional
Facebook message about teen drug overdoses in Kanata.
Below is the text of his message:
To all whom are concerned, As many if not all of you are aware from
news reports a beautiful 14-year-old Kanata girl passed away this week
as a result of a drug overdose.
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Last week we made headlines with a record drug bust after more than
$1.2 million in drugs, cash, weapons, drug manufacturing equipment and
vehicles were seized by the Lethbridge members of the Alberta Law
Enforcement Response Team.
I commend the members of the LPS and the RCMP who make up the
integrated Lethbridge team for their great work.
In the news conference, I was asked how this seizure impacts the city.
Beyond preventing the obvious drug use, sales and potential
fatalities, I mentioned how drugs and addictions are related to
property crimes. I know many citizens have been victims of car
prowling and residential break-ins to their homes, garages and sheds.
Many businesses have also been hit by very organized thieves as was
clear when a car dealership had dozens of wheels and rims stolen from
new cars on their lot not too long ago.
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The members of the Middlesex-London Board of Health endorsed Thursday
evening a motion to take the "next steps" to set up a
supervised-injection site for drug users in London.
That essentially means determining what the method will be for moving
forward with the project. As part of that, there will be a public
consultation before setting up any such site, including talking to the
people in the chosen neighbourhood, including residents and business.
The first part of the three-pronged motion covered accepting a
feasibility study. Dr. Gayanne Hovhannisyan, the acting medical
officer of health, led the discussion.
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Non-profit group takes Victoria patients to get same-day methadone
A Victoria non-profit group has started a service to drive people to
Nanaimo to get methadone and suboxone prescriptions because the wait
time to see a doctor is much shorter.
"A lot of clients would say: 'I can't see a doctor for weeks.' So when
this new clinic opened in Nanaimo and said they were taking clients,
we saw an opportunity," said Lucy Hagos, operations manager at the
Daily Dose Society, which operates the Wheels for Recovery program.
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We would like to respond to a recent article (Penticton Western News,
Feb. 8, Some dispensaries'thumbing their noses' at the city rules)
which Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said we are 'thumbing our nose' at the
city by operating without a business license.
Firstly, we can appreciate the concerns of citizens who are unfamiliar
with the medical benefits of cannabis products and the service that a
professional dispensary provides. This is a new type of business for
many communities and there are still old perceptions that all users
are hippies and kids just getting high. The majority of our customers
are adults over the age of 50 who are seeking help with medical issues
such as arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, MS, glaucoma, seizures and pain
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A B.C. Supreme Court justice freed an accused cocaine trafficker
Friday because there was no sheriff to lead the man from a cell in the
Victoria courthouse to the courtroom.
The decision highlighted an ongoing sheriff shortage that has closed
courtrooms, delayed trials and tossed cases out of court around B.C.
The Victoria courthouse is particularly hard hit.
Justice Robert Johnston blamed the situation on "a lack of provincial
will to provide the necessary resources," as he stayed a charge of
possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking against Richard
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After decrying Ottawa's "divide and conquer" approach to health-care
agreements, British Columbia signed its own side deal on Friday - to
get extra cash for the drug-overdose crisis.
B.C. had been one of the most vocal critics of Ottawa's strategy to
pick off provinces one by one with special agreements, rather than
negotiate across-the-board health transfers with all the provinces.
But B.C. officials said Friday they eventually decided to settle the
feud because they wanted to present a united Canadian front in the
softwood lumber trade dispute with the U.S.
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If governments were really providing an urgent response to the
fentanyl crisis, Correne Antrobus wouldn't be prowling Victoria's
streets looking for a drug dealer to sell her daughter methadone.
Antrobus shared her story in the Times Colonist this week. Her
daughter is addicted to opiates, but wants to quit. When she asked her
family for help, they sought medical support and a quick start on
legal methadone that would stabilize her addiction, keep her safe and
allow her to seek treatment.
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Inspired by Canada's finest storyteller, Moriarty shares a tale from
his misspent youth
As a tribute to Stuart McLean, Canada's finest storyteller who passed
away Wednesday, I'd like to tell you a story about the time, in a whim
of desperation, I considered killing Moses, the family dog.
I was 16 the night my best friends Drew and Larry came to my house to
smoke some marijuana.
The three of us were going to a dance that night. My home seemed like
a safe place to toke before heading off to the gymnasium at Lord Byng
Secondary, where, if fortune smiled upon me this evening, I would slow
dance with the golden Ilona through the entirety of Jethro Tull's
Thick As A Brick.
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He's done four rotations helping law enforcement agencies combat the
international drug trade in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
On Thursday, navy Lt.-Cmdr. Lucas Kenward was in Saskatoon to speak
with local police and reservists about Canada's role in the fight.
"One of the key messages that I bring to police services is that the
mission that we're doing ... while it is displaced by some 5,000 miles
from here, it does have a direct impact," he said.
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Drug addicts need our care and compassion - not incarceration - writes
The Edmonton Police Service recently published its organizational
position on supervised injection sites, which calls for supervised
injection sites to be more than designated physical spaces where
addicts can consume illegal drugs.
In addition to the necessary basic human requirements of shelter and
security, the sites also need to provide a complete slate of support
services for drug addicts - from emergency medical care to assistance
with food, medication and mental health issues - to name a few.
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Man, 28, died after being told downtown drop-in centre had no space
for him to sleep
The fatal overdose of a 28-year-old man, who left a downtown drop-in
centre he frequented after being told there was no room for him to
sleep, has left his friends and community reeling and searching for
The man, whom the Star is not identifying at this time without his
family's permission, often stayed at the St. Felix Centre, a
neighbourhood hub on Augusta Ave. where men and women can shower,
enjoy meals, receive counselling and use computers.
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On Tuesday (February 21), exactly 914 feathers will hang from the
trees in Oppenheimer Park.
They will symbolize the 914 people who died of an illicit-drug
overdose in B.C. in 2016. The feathers will be carved out of wood and
as many as possible will bear the name of somebody who died after
The Vancouver demonstration is part of a national day of action that
is so far planned for seven cities across Canada. In B.C., events are
also planned for Victoria and Nanaimo.
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IHA saw largest increase in rate of drug overdose deaths from 2015 to
2016, a 145 per cent jump, from 64 to 158 deaths
Kelowna had the third highest number of illicit drug overdose deaths
among B.C. cities last month.
In January, there were eight drug overdose deaths in Kelowna, 10
deaths in the Okanagan and 18 deaths across Interior Health, according
to a BC Coroners Service report released Friday.
The top two cities for drug overdose deaths in January were Vancouver
with 45 deaths and Surrey with nine.
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