While opioids hold center stage in the nation's drug war,
methamphetamine is making a destructive comeback. Though meth has
largely fallen off the public's radar, seizures and arrests are up,
and more people are dying from the drug. Its evolution is a reminder
of the durability of the illegal drug supply, the impermanence of any
single enforcement tactic and the need for a comprehensive approach to
fighting and treating addiction.
Potent, addictive and deadly, meth bears many of the pernicious traits
of opioids. It became popular in the early 2000s, easily produced in
small batches using the decongestant in over-the-counter cold
medicine. In rural parts of Tampa Bay, especially eastern Hillsborough
and Pasco counties and throughout Polk County, exploding "meth labs"
routinely drew law enforcement's attention. Congress responded in 2005
with a law putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limiting the
amount individuals could purchase and creating a tracking system
pharmacies were required to use. Meth became much harder to make and
faded from notice, overtaken by a new drug of choice: opioids.
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WASHINGTON - President Trump's plan to use the death penalty on drug
dealers has all the hallmarks of his favorite policies: It could fit
on the front of a baseball cap. It is a proven applause line. It
appeals to a conservative base.
But, like so many of Trump's slogans-turned-policy, it's dredged from
a bygone era and lacks clear evidence showing it would be effective.
Using an obscure federal provision to bring capital cases against
dealers, the concept that Trump enthusiastically backed during a visit
to New Hampshire this week, fits within the framework of some of his
other cornerstone ideas: Build the wall, Launch trade wars, Arm
teachers. To some critics in the mainstream, though, the ideas are
impractical, imprecise, or just dangerous.
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LIHUE - Kauai police have seen an increase in the use of black tar
heroin over the last two years.
The Kauai Police Department seized less than a gram of black tar
heroin in 2015. But in 2017, the department seized a total of 526
grams, the Garden Island reported Sunday.
The department has already amassed 80.8 grams this year, said Bryson
Ponce, Kauai Police Department's Investigative Services Bureau
Ponce said the increase is a serious concern because heroin use is
linked to violent crime.
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Plenty of hard work goes into training police service dogs to sniff
out illicit substances
For the vast majority of the dog population, sitting, shaking their
paw and possibly rolling over is more than enough to get a treat, or
some time with their favourite toy.
For police service dogs Astor and Flint, some of the highest praise
comes after sniffing out drugs hidden in a home or a vehicle.
The Medicine Hat Police Service is two weeks into training PSD Astor
to detect drugs and to notify his handler of any illegal substances he
may sniff out.
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The sheer volume of human suffering has been increasing exponentially
in recent months as a new and deadly wave of opioids scythes through
local drug users and addicts, says Const. Ryan Darroch, a 15-year
veteran of the Lethbridge Police Service, and a beat cop with the
downtown policing unit.
"We have not yet confirmed carfentanil (behind the recent overdoses)
through our lab analysis," he emphasizes, "but we have seized
carfentanil in the city. A lot of the street people we talk to in the
downtown, and all over this city, refer to it as 'Car.' It almost
looks like that candy Nerds. They tell us they take that carfentanil
and mix it with a water solution in those little blue vials people may
see on the streets on the ground. They mix that solution in little
green mixing bowls, and it breaks down the opioid inside that and they
may then draw that solution into a needle and inject it into
themselves. Fentanyl or
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Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer
drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in
their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended
While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing
strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what
they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission
"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely
none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine
Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response
Commission, told a news conference downtown.
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The significant spike in illicit drug overdoses in Lethbridge has not
reached Medicine Hat - yet.
There is no way to predict that it will or when, said Insp. Tim
McGough, Medicine Hat Police Service.
Lethbridge recently experienced its largest spike in overdoses - 16
cases - ever recorded in a 24-hour period. There were 42 overdose
calls to first responders in the week after Feb. 19.
"We've had no specific overdose spike (in Medicine Hat) but we are
always concerned with illicit usage." said McGough.
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Policing issues played a minor role in Tuesday's Ward 4 budget town
hall, with only one exception: Cannabis enforcement costs.
The Regina Police Service has estimated the cost of policing a
legalized marijuana system between $1.2 million and $1.8 million. That
number evoked shock from one resident who came to the meeting.
"It stretches the bounds of believability," she said. "Give me a
Coun. Andrew Stevens tried to steer clear of the RPS during the town
hall, only once repeating his earlier warnings about the force's
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Police seize 5.8 kg in January - half of what was seized in
MAKE no mistake: Winnipeg has a meth problem.
That's the message city police drove home Thursday at a lengthy news
conference, painting a dark picture of a city in the grips of a
methamphetamine epidemic and the strain placed on front-line services
that are trying to contain the street drug.
"The emergence of methamphetamine that we're experiencing in our
community is getting to the level where it's starting to keep me awake
at night," Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said.
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Latest stops in northwestern Minnesota show surge of drug traffic into
It seemed like an innocuous driving violation: A woman was motoring
through Otter Tail County in northwestern Minnesota with an obstructed
license plate. Then the observant state trooper discovered she was
sitting on packages of marijuana.
Troopers seized more than 300 pounds of the weed during the stop last
Friday, the latest of several large pot busts the State Patrol has
made in the past few weeks and a sign that the surge of large
quantities of pot and illegal drugs into Minnesota is continuing.
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There aren't a lot of concrete answers as to why marijuana transactions
are deadlier, but there are theories.
The morning Kim Ambers turned 50, her oldest son, Richard Ambers,
called to wish her a happy birthday. I love you, he told her.
It was a tradition for the Ambers family members to see one another on
birthdays, but Kim Ambers' celebration would have to wait. Richard was
working and had a Halloween party afterward. The whole family would go
out for breakfast the next day, on Oct. 29, 2016.
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Dundas mom says 17-year-old is on 'lockdown' in home after
When his father roused his son from a drug-induced slumber, he flew
into a rage.
The 17-year-old ended up pulling a knife and locking his dad out in
the freezing cold.
Now, his parents take turns watching him - constantly.
"We just kind of keep him down on what we call 'lockdown,'" says his
mom, a school teacher who lives in Dundas.
Her son is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He has tried to kill
himself, been in and out of hospital, in homeless shelters and jail.
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A day after what would have been her son Ashley's 38th birthday, Betty
Niemi told the story of her only child's losing battle with addiction
to a rapt audience Thursday night.
Niemi, who has started a local chapter of Grief Recovery After Substance
Passing (GRASP), took to the podium at the fourth Not My Kid:
Adolescents and Addictions seminar before a crowd of about 300 at the
"Losing a child is like having an arm or leg amputated, but no one can
see it," Niemi told the crowd.
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Committee to look at report next week
Sudbury could become home to a safe injection site.
The community services committee will hear next week about the
prospect of undertaking a feasibility study for a site, which will
cost $150,000 to $200,000. Council is being asked to endorse the report.
"Through community consultations, under the mental health and
compassionate city community priorities, the suggested action includes
the study of and possible
establishment of a supervised injection site," a staff report
indicates. "In addition, the establishment of (a safe injection site)
has been prioritized by the community drug strategy as part of the
harm reduction pillar area of responsibility."
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WATERLOO REGION - Regional councillors thanked the public health
department for its harm reduction efforts, but said more needs to be
done to ensure used needles aren't ending up in public spaces.
"I do appreciate the efforts of public health," Cambridge Mayor Doug
Craig said at a council meeting on Tuesday. "But we still have a problem."
The number of needles distributed through Waterloo Region's needle
syringe program has been rising steadily in recent years, reaching a
peak in 2017, according to a report presented this week.
[continues 471 words]
in this city is a much worse problem than
The opioid epidemic that has overtaken Ontario has left its mark on
Lambton County, but a more insidious problem - the widespread use of
crystal methamphetamine -will have an equal, if not greater effect on
crime in the future, according to the head of Sarnia Police Service's
Det. Sgt. John Pearce spoke about the prevalence of opioids and
methamphetamine in Sarnia, the inherent dangers of these drugs, and
the legalization of marijuana during a recent presentation at the
Central Forum Speaker Series.
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To help the local youth identify and avoid the decisions that can lead
to severe drug addiction, members of the Okanagan Correctional Centre
were at Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School last week to have a frank
discussion with the Grade 5, 6 and 7 students.
The conversation was led by assistant deputy warden Keith Pearce and
security officer Mitch Fritz, who spoke about their volunteer
experiences doing outreach in Vancouver's downtown Eastside. Joining
them on their missions are players from the Penticton Vees.
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A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been charged with operating
a large-scale drug trafficking operation in which he boasted that he
hired other law enforcement officers to provide security to drug
dealers and could assault people for his clients, according to court
Kenneth Collins, a deputy assigned to the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority, and two other men were arrested by FBI agents Tuesday
morning in a sting operation when they arrived to what they thought
was a drug deal, according to records unsealed following the arrest.
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DP Leader Wab Kinew demanded Friday that provincial Health Minister
Kelvin Goertzen create safe consumption sites for injection drug users
in Winnipeg and other communities in Manitoba.
"There are people in our city who are dying," Kinew told
But Goertzen said in an emailed statement late Friday that he's not
considering establishing sites.
Kinew said deaths and overdoses from opioids and methamphetamine have
reached crisis proportions in Winnipeg.
"It's time for there to be a safe consumption site in Winnipeg," he
said. "We know safe consumption sites save lives."
[continues 384 words]
The methods Penticton police used to search phones connected to a drug
investigation were again called into question on Thursday in B.C.
Supreme Court. Jennifer Montgomery, 31, is facing one charge of
possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking and two
counts of simple possession of heroin and methamphetamine. Her trial
Montgomery's phone was seized by police after a search warrant was
executed June 22, 2016, at her Penticton home, where RCMP Const. Chad
Jackson testified drugs and paraphernalia associated with drug dealing
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