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.
[continues 383 words]
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
[continues 622 words]
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.
[continues 349 words]
Structural changes are required to clamp down on the unregulated
private lending networks that drug traffickers are using to launder
their illicit gains, a Simon Fraser University criminologist says.
A recent Globe and Mail investigation identified people connected to
the local fentanyl trade who are also private lenders, using
Vancouver-area real estate to clean their cash.
Neil Boyd, a criminology professor at SFU, said the complexity of
these private lending networks and similar white-collar crimes make
them notoriously hard to prosecute.
[continues 640 words]
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.
[continues 875 words]
The fire department in ElizabethtownKitley wants to opt out of
carrying naloxone kits in its fire trucks.
In a report to council set to be discussed on Monday, the township's
fire department says it unanimously decided it does not want to
participate in the Ontario Naloxone Program at this time.
The provincial fire marshal and chief of emergency management informed
the township in December they will be expanding the naloxone program
to include funding for two naloxone kits for each fire truck used in
their role as first responders.
[continues 553 words]
Overdose-prevention plan would equip 112 high schools and train some
Toronto District School Board high schools will soon be provided with
a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses.
On Wednesday evening, the board voted to move forward with equipping
every secondary school with a naloxone kit, as part of TDSB's
overdose-prevention plan implemented in November 2017.
TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said one kit will be provided to each of
the board's 112 high schools and alternative schools.
[continues 352 words]
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."
[continues 439 words]
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]
Decades after Canada abandoned the field, the B.C. Centre on Substance
Use is investigating the benefits of drugs like MDMA and psilocybin
In 2011, Gerald Thomas was invited to an Indigenous community in a
remote area of British Columbia. Working for the Centre for Addictions
Research of B.C., he was one of a small team of scientists who
observed 12 people take ayahuasca, an Amazonian mixture that induces
vivid visual and auditory hallucinations as well as deep emotional and
[continues 2903 words]
After reading the column written by Tyler Dawson on why it's time to
legalize all drugs, I couldn't help butt my head as to why he would
even suggest such a dangerous and ill thought-out plan.
I myself am opposed to these so-called "safe" injection sites. Sure,
it will save people from overdosing on heroin, but it also enables
those to go out and do it all over again and again.
It's unsafe for you to be injecting this poison into your body in the
[continues 146 words]
In the hope of spreading awareness of the therapeutic benefits of
MDMA, commonly known as ecstacy, one local psychotherapist is
encouraging Kingstonians to explore and discuss the opportunities of
"MDMA is an empathogen, it gives you more empathy and self-compassion,
and so when you're in therapy with it you can look at your trauma with
a little bit more openness," Richard Tyo, a registered psychotherapist
and member of the Kingston Psychedelic Society, said on Wednesday. "It
can really accelerate a lot of therapy."
[continues 506 words]
Victoria Cooperative Fisheries GM Osborne Burke says employers need
more time for training and education
When it comes to consuming substances that carry the risk of
impairment, what employees ingest on their own time can become the
employer's business. In safety-sensitive worksites, establishing a
clear drug and alcohol policy is paramount. So too is encouraging
employees with a substance abuse problem to seek help.
Victoria Cooperative Fisheries (VCF) in Neil's Harbour has long been
ahead of the curve when it comes to a comprehensive workplace drug and
alcohol policy. With cannabis legalization on the horizon, VCF'S
Health and Safety Committee has taken steps to ensure management and
employees have a clear understanding of their roles and
[continues 467 words]
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]
NDP lobbying for safe injection sites
Manitoba's official opposition is lobbying for safe injection sites,
in Winnipeg and beyond.
NDP leader Wab Kinew said the Progressive Conservative government
should spend some of the $10.9 million federal dollars it's received
to address mental health and addictions to develop such sites, which
he believes are needed in Winnipeg and other Manitoba
Kinew said the effort is critical to combat a surge in crystal meth
and fentanyl abuse.
"We know that safe (injection) sites save lives and we know that
(addiction) is reaching crisis proportions. So we need to see action,"
[continues 303 words]
Three weeks after Ontario said it would fast-track creation of
temporary safer drug-injection sites, the province has finally cleared
away the bureaucratic red tape - a move that will soon lead to a site
or sites in London.
The red tape - the Ontario government had promised a 14-day turnaround
- - was the last barrier to health units across Ontario to creating
safer places to lessen the death toll of opioids. The Middlesex-London
Health Unit used the last three weeks to have its application ready to
[continues 497 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
[continues 310 words]
Jennifer Montgomery, 31, was charged with a number of drug offences
after Mounties obtained a search warrant for her home
Police had every right to use text messages found on a woman's phone
to launch a subsequent drug investigation inside the home she had just
left, a judge ruled Wednesday in Penticton. The validity of that
tactic was challenged in a voir dire at the outset of the B.C. Supreme
Court trial for Jennifer Montgomery, 31, who is charged with
possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, plus
simple possession of heroin and methamphetamine.
[continues 357 words]
CAMBRIDGE - An innovative new peer-based pilot project will be
launched in Cambridge early next year with the aim of curbing improper
needle disposal in the community.
The project is a partnership between Region of Waterloo Public Health,
which will provide funding, Sanguen Health Centre and the City of Cambridge.
Along with removing needles through patrols and education, it will
offer employment and skill development to people who have experienced
substance abuse; they will be hired as the peer workers.
"There is no harm in trying other methods to connect people and get
them on board," said Violet Umanetz, Sanguen's outreach manager. "The
peers do so well working in the community."
[continues 538 words]
In the wake of a deadly opioid drug crisis that's killed hundreds in
Ontario, London health officials are fast-tracking a pop-up,
- -overdose-prevention site they want to have up and running by January.
The stripped-down version of a supervised consumption site will give
drug users a safer environment to inject. The location of the site, or
the total number if there is more than one, hasn't been pinned down.
But the plan is to have at least one as early as possible in 2018.
[continues 747 words]