Bruce County councillors were shocked to learn Bruce County is now rated as the number one area in the province for crystal meth use.
Social services director Terry Sanderson described crystal meth as a growing problem that devastates families and destroys the health of users.
Southern Bruce and Grey counties, including Walkerton and Hanover, west toward Kincardine and east to Durham has been identified as a crystal meth problem area. Drug use is growing, Sanderson said, because the drug is cheap and easily manufactured. Crystal meth has the same devastating impact on users and their families as the drug 'speed' did in the 1970s.
A Grey-Bruce community health project is aimed at finding out how many crystal meth users are in the county and how to help them. Bruce County is contributing $15,000 toward that study.
Brockton Mayor Charlie Bagnato applauded the plan. He told council he's been lobbying for three years for local drug treatment programs, so far with no success.
The new group should look to Stratford's experience tackling the drug, Bagnato said.
"They achieved some form of success. They still have a problem, but I think they've done a lot of good work down there," he said. "Now Bruce County has become number one so it's time for us to get together, maybe with the province, and address this problem."
Sanderson said the long range plan is for local treatment programs, but the first step is to find users and offer help.
"It's affecting families, it's affecting the community. We're seeing people who are now applying for ( disability pensions ) because they've been so damaged by this drug. It's a debilitating ( addiction ) process," he said.