When the provincial government promised in its recent budget to create seven beds for the treatment of male youths who are addicted to crystal meth, it marked another milestone in the journey to help children who have been caught up in the web of drug abuse.
Up until the budget announcement, the only treatment beds for crystal meth users were for girls.
But treatment is only one front of a three-pronged attack on the scourges of the toxic cocktail that destroys brain cells, families and lives. The other two are enforcement and education.
For every young person who has used the drug or who has been involved with the law, there are thousands who haven't -- and with the right information and guidance, hopefully they never will.
Knowledge is a powerful deterrent.
On Friday, March 2, the Westshore Crystal Meth Society will host two events that will help educate students and parents on the ravages of crystal meth addiction.
Dr. Martin Brokenleg, a distinguished authority on substance abuse, will address the students of Edward Milne community school in the morning and the general public on Friday evening.
The evening session will be held at Edward Milne community school theatre from 6 p.m to 7:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a community dinner from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m..
Admission is free but tickets are necessary. Tickets are available at SEAPARC recreation centre or the Juan de Fuca recreation centre.
Brokenleg holds a doctorate in psychology and theology and is a professor of native American studies and dean of Black Hills seminars on Youth at Risk. He co-authored The Circle of Courage: Reclaiming Youth at Risk.
Daphne Churchill, Westshore Crystal Meth Society spokesperson and principal of Glen Lake elementary school says education will be the most effective long-term solution to the problem. "We want to concentrate on raising healthy children, not fixing broken adults," she says.
Crystal meth is deadly. There is no better way to describe this highly addictive drug that can be made from common household products like drain cleaner and ammonia -- poisons that you normally wouldn't even consider ingesting.
Here in Sooke, the problem is not as bad as in other communities. "There haven't been a lot of seizures, but enough that it really concerns us," cautions RCMP staff sergeant Roger Plamondon. An estimated 40 per cent of first-time users become hooked on the drug.