Two local mothers are bringing awareness to the rippling effect drugs
leave on families by sharing the stories of their own children
enveloped in the throes of addiction.
Opening a public discussion about drug addiction is how mothers Shawna
Taylor of Airdrie and Christina Sackett of Crossfield first connected.
"There are so many families being affected," Taylor said. "I think the
stigma is so incredible that people are embarrassed to come forward.
It took us a long time."
Taylor has been married to her husband Jeff for 23 years and said the
two raised their daughter, Kenedee, and son, Nathan, to respect
curfews and stay away from drugs.
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As deadly fentanyl fuels a public health crisis, Free Press reporter
Jennifer Bieman reveals what you should know about common London
Forget the old adage that what you don't know, can't hurt you. When it
comes to street drugs, what you don't know can kill you.
That was the thrust of a rare public health warning - three health
agencies and London police joined in its release - last week in
London, when authorities stressed that the latest villain in Canada's
opioid drug crisis, deadly fentanyl, is turning up in other illegal
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Proactive public health warning, or scare tactic?
A heated debate has erupted after the London region's top public
health official warned that illegal drugs, including marijuana, could
be contaminated with fentanyl, a powerful painkiller already blamed
for hundreds of overdose deaths in Canada this year.
There's no shortage of skepticism about part of that warning,
involving pot, especially since there's never been a confirmed case of
fentanyl-laced marijuana in Canada.
Though multiple warnings that fentanyl-contaminated cannabis have
circulated in communities - even former B.C. premier Christy Clark
made the claim last year - both the RCMP and Canada's health minister
have said the rumours haven't been proven.
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NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with
heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States
for the past three years, a report reveals.
None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical
journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish
these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up
under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.
In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been
evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a
condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the
facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the
social service agency running it.
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Two former Kern County Sheriff's deputies avoided prison time Monday
for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts.
Logan August and Derrick Penney were sentenced Monday to three years'
probation for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with
the intent to distribute marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney
office in Fresno.
August, a 30-year-old Bakersfield resident, was also ordered to serve
1,500 hours of community service and forfeit $16,500 earned in the
trafficking operation, federal authorities said.
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Five people in two days sent to hospital after taking drugs believed
to be laced with fentanyl
Local health officials are raising the alarm after a string of
fentanyl overdoses this week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, five people, including three in Kingston,
were sent to hospital after taking drugs believed to be laced with
"What we know is all five did require paramedic services and support
in hospital, and we believe that they are related to
fentanyl-contaminated drugs, just from the clinical signs and symptoms
we saw," said Fareen Karachiwalla, associate medical officer of health
with Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health.
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Property crimes of all sorts have increased in 2016, according to
statistics included within the Medicine Hat Police's 2016 annual
report published last week - numbers police say are linked together
with the increased amount of meth and opiates being seen in the city.
"The biggest thing is thefts of convenience," said Insp. Brent
Secondiak of the MHPS. "They will take stuff to make money that's
convenient for them ... they won't do a lot of work for it."
"They will steal stuff from vehicles that are left open, they'll steal
stuff from bicycles left in the yard."
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A "huge spike" in opiate and methamphetamine seizures this past year
poses a deadly and multifaceted problem for local law enforcement,
says a police inspector.
"We are hugely concerned with meth," said Insp. Brent Secondiak,
speaking about the 2016 annual police report released last week.
In 2016, police seized 52.5 grams of heroin and 1,474 grams of meth, a
563 per cent and 300 per cent increase from 2015 respectively.
While fentanyl has made headlines across Canada for its deadliness,
Secondiak said it hasn't been a problem in Medicine Hat compared to
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Calgary's police chief said his officers haven't changed their
approach when it comes to marijuana, despite a slight dip in
pot-related crimes being reported in 2016.
Numbers released yesterday by Statistics Canada show Calgary's
police-reported crime declined significantly last year, unlike other
major Canadian cities which mostly saw an increase.
Alberta also saw a drop in the homicide rate, with 17 fewer homicides
in 2016 than 2015. Calgary's crime rate was down 1 per cent from 2015
numbers, which Chief Roger Chaffin called 'encouraging.'
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A Texas girl whose family moved to Colorado to use medical marijuana
to treat her intractable epilepsy is among those suing Attorney
General Jeff Sessions over the federal cannabis prohibition.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the federal government should be
able to prosecute marijuana use and distribution in states that have
declared it legal.
An 11-year-old Texas cannabis "refugee" has joined a retired NFL
football player, an Iraq War veteran and two others in a lawsuit
challenging beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal
government's stance on medical marijuana.
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Instead of overlooking the true issue of drug addiction in
Chatham-Kent and participating in the stigma that surrounds it, our
community must be proactive. Now is our opportunity to help
individuals suffering from drug addiction and prevent needless
overdoses while simultaneously protecting public health.
Last year in Canada there were 2458 opioid related overdose deaths
(two every day in Ontario), all which were preventable. Some readers
may turn a blind eye to this statistic and argue, "who cares?" and
"better for the rest of us". My question for those people is, when did
we lose our sense of community? When did we become so individualistic
that our judgment of others has clouded our ability to feel empathy?
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Colby Wilde and Lacey Christenson welcomed their third child into the
world on April 9 at Utah Valley Hospital.
The doctors, nurses and medical staff eventually cleared out of the
room, giving the parents a few moments alone with their new daughter.
Unlike most new parents, they did not hold the newborn child, overcome
Instead, Wilde quickly crushed pills of Suboxone, an FDA-approved drug
used to treat heroin addiction and withdrawal, police say.
He moistened his finger and dipped it in the resulting powder. Then he
stuck his finger in his daughter's mouth, smearing it along her tiny,
tender gums. Though she had been in the world less than half a day,
the baby, like thousands others in the United States, was already
addicted to opioids.
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Of the $8.65 million in illegal drugs the Alberta Law Enforcement
Response Team (ALERT) pulled off of Alberta's streets, well over half
of it was marijuana.
"Marijuana remains highly profitable for organized crime," said Insp.
Dave Dubnyk with ALERT. "It's traded for other drugs, used for
financing illegal enterprises."
According to information in the 2016-17 ALERT annual report,
investigators seized $5.4-million worth of marijuana last year.
Dubnyk said while ALERT officers may not be specifically targeting
marijuana, it is often discovered during other investigations
involving illegal drugs and organized crime.
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Heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs remain widely available
throughout Ohio, often at bargain prices, a new state report reveals.
If that isn't bad enough, the quality of the drugs is "is really good,
too good. We've lost 12 friends in the past year (to overdoses)," said
one respondent in the just-released Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring
Network Report. The semi-annual statewide report of drug availability
trends is done by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction
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Scientists, public health experts and volunteers working with them
have started to show up at music festivals, concerts, raves and other
public gatherings where illicit drugs are frequently used. Equipped
with special chemical testing kits, they help attendees test pills and
powder for purity in real time so people can make better informed
decisions about whether to take them.
The practice - more common in Europe than in the United States - is
controversial, and the debate has been similar to the early days of
needle-exchange programs in the 1980s. Proponents argue harm
reduction. They say people are more likely to reject taking drugs to
get high if the substances do not contain what they think they do,
which reduces the risk of overdose and other harmful effects. Critics
say such programs implicitly encourage the use of illegal drugs.
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MJPS call recent arrests a success, but more work still to be done
Crystal methamphetamine isn't a newcomer to the Friendly City, but it
does seem to be getting better acquainted with it.
"It's a drug that's much more available than it was even five years
ago," Cpl. Kevin Pilsworth of the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) said
on Thursday. "In the past few years, we've really seen it make its way
onto the map in Moose Jaw."
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Two sites in the Vancouver region have become the first in Canada to
receive federal approval to allow users to snort or swallow drugs
while under supervision.
Until now, supervised drug-consumption sites have been limited to
injection drug users. Two sites have been operating in Vancouver for
more than a decade, while others have recently received approval in
the Vancouver area, Montreal and Toronto.
The two sites approved to expand services to non-injectable drugs are
in Surrey, south of Vancouver. The public SafePoint
supervised-consumption site, located on what's known as the "Surrey
Strip," opened three weeks ago. The Quibble Creek Sobering and
Assessment Centre began offering supervised consumption for clients
one week ago.
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I t was terrific to see leaders from Surrey RCMP and the Surrey School
District offer parents such common-sense advice this week about the
drug crisis afflicting our communities.
School Superintendent Jordan Tinney and Assistant Commissioner Dwayne
McDonald urged parents to talk to their kids about the extremely high
level of risk posed by street drugs these days and not to assume that
their little darlings aren't experimenting with them.
The warning came a few days after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry
Kendall made a similar plea, noting that 19 B.C. teenagers have died
of overdoses since January 2016 and concerned that teenage drug use
may rise soon with year-end parties and summer concerts.
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A U.S. Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling
backpacks he believed contained drugs across the border.
Appearing in a federal courtroom in San Diego, Noe Lopez pleaded
guilty to attempted distribution of methamphetamine and attempted
distribution of cocaine.
He faces a possible minimum sentence of 10 years for each of the two
counts and a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 before U.S. District
Judge Dana Sabraw.
Lopez, a 10-year Border Patrol veteran who worked out of the Imperial
Beach station, was arrested Dec. 14 as a result of a two-month
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I just heard Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer on the news discussing our
gang problem, killings and crime in Fresno. He then mentioned
marijuana as the drug gangs use. That might be true, but why do we
rarely hear about the huge methamphetamine problem in Fresno from
Chief Dyer, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and the local media?
Methamphetamine is being imported, made and sold widely in Fresno and
surrounding areas. It is sucking the life out of our communities.
Methamphetamine is the problem, not marijuana, which is legal in
California. Apparently it's easier to advertise "cracking down on
crime" by using our tax dollars to bust growers/dealers of this legal
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