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News Articles: RCMP investigate possible mobile meth lab
EnforcementAn RCMP team is at Saanich police headquarters this afternoon, examining what is believed to be a mobile meth lab found in the trunk of a car during an arrest Wednesday.

Saanich police conducted a routine traffic stop in Gordon Head and the officer recognized the 32-year-old Saanich man as a known offender who was in breach of conditions. Upon searching the rented Nissan Rogue, the officer found unmarked containers of chemicals, suspected to be ingredients for cooking up crystal meth, said police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

Police also recovered a small amount of crystal meth, a bottle of GHB, production paraphernalia such as pots and stirring mechanisms.

The RCMP specialized team arrived from Vancouver Thursday to inspect the chemicals. Two Mounties, dressed in full hazmat suits, carefully examined samples from three jerry cans to determine whether the chemicals are those typically used for making crystal meth.

The man is being held in custody on charges related to breach of recognizance, but drug charges have not yet been laid.

Once investigators determine what the chemicals are, samples will be collected as evidence and a hazardous-materials team will safely dispose of them, Jantzen said.

Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, March 31

News Articles: FROM THE UNDERGROUND TO THE MAINSTREAM
Parent Resources Despite efforts by authorities over recent years to protect the public from ecstasy pushers, the scene has quietly edged sideways and carried on. Scouring a teen's room for baby pacifiers, stuffed animals and glowing gloves will no longer yield the classic hallmarks of an E user.

If you knew that those accessories are commonly associated with raves, and you already knew that a rave is a late-night dance party set to electronic music, then you might also know that ecstasy is the reason the sensory toys are popular. Not the only reason - there are ravers who don't use drugs - but a large part of the desire to neon, glow-stick, and costume yourself to dance for long hours is fuelled by euphoria-inducing pills.

The context has moved, however, out of sweaty warehouse dance parties and 30-somethings' feel-good weekends, into the back seats of N-adorned cars and teenage get-togethers. The rave scene reached Canada around 1991. Historically, the risks associated with using ecstasy, or MDMA, were due to the hot, prolonged environment of the dance floors. Hours of physical activity combined with a lack of water was a recipe for overheating, seizures and organ failure.

People died, yet the party continued because ecstasy lacked the bad, back-alley reputation of crack or heroin. The brightly coloured pills, stamped with cartoon faces or cute logos, seem far removed from the dangers of hard drug use. Intimate house parties and weeknight concerts are the new backdrop to popping pills, and as the scene dilutes, the dangers mount.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, March 02

News Articles: ECSTASY: Chemical roulette
EnforcementNo amount of ecstasy is a safe dose.

UPDATE: Lower Mainland ecstasy death linked to lethal chemical Abbotsford teen loses her life after taking the drug ecstasy Abbotsford Police launch series about ecstasy and other street drugs Another ecstasy overdose in Abbotsford; woman battles for her life ECSTASY: 'If I don't stop this, I'm going to die' Ecstasy agony: Abbotsford couple speaks out about death of 20-year-old son

That’s the message from the Abbotsford Police Department and the Fraser Health Authority in the wake of 18 ecstasy deaths in B.C. since the start of 2011.

This week, APD launched Operation X, an initiative intended to warn and inform teens and parents about the danger of street drugs, including ecstasy. Dr. Victoria Lee, medical health officer for the FHA, says they are also actively working with schools to get that message out.

Ecstasy has taken hold in a young demographic who might not fully understand the risk. Lee reiterates that the safest and wisest choice is to not take it at all. “You can do permanent damage from the first time,” Lee advises. “Even one is unsafe.”

Ecstasy-related emergencies are bad news, agrees Dr. Roy Purssell. The medical director of the B.C. Drug and Poison Information Centre is also an emergency physician at Vancouver General Hospital.

An ecstasy situation almost always means serious trouble, he says, because most people having a negative reaction wait too long to go to the hospital, or the people they are with don’t realize the seriousness of a delay.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, March 02

News Articles: LOVE DRUG EVOLVES INTO DIRTY KILLER
Parent ResourcesLOVE DRUG EVOLVES INTO DIRTY KILLER

Not so long ago, Myles Murphy popped "E" caps like they were candy. He and his two buddies would pool their money to buy 21 ecstasy pills during the week from a dealer in school or on the street. Then on the weekend, they'd steal away to someone's basement and throw "mini-raves" for themselves, glow sticks and all.

"I couldn't stop, right? It became just something I needed, I liked," said Murphy, who was introduced to the drug in Grade 9 at a party with a bunch of older kids. These days, however, the gregarious 19-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., has a different take on the so-called "love drug" that is so popular among clubbers and partygoers and whose properties, it is commonly said, jack up the senses to the point where you can "see the music" and "hear the colours."

"It's one of the cheapest, dirtiest drugs," Murphy said. "You don't know what's in it." The warning is being echoed by police and public health officials in the wake of a spate of ecstasy-related deaths in Western Canada. Many of the deaths -- nine in Alberta and five in B.C. -- have been linked to ecstasy that has been tainted with para methoxymethamphetamine or PMMA, dubbed by some drug experts as meth's "ugly cousin."

Theories abound about what could be behind the cluster of PMMA-related deaths. It is possible, police and health officials say, that a crackdown on pre-cursor chemicals used to make methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA -- which is ecstasy in its traditional or pure form -- has led drug producers to turn to other synthetic drugs, such as PMMA. It is also possible that inexperienced producers intended to add meth into the toxic blend but ended up creating PMMA by accident.

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, February 07

News Articles: Teen's death may be linked to ecstasy
Parent ResourcesCoroner probes connection to other MDMA fatalities

A 16-year-old Langley boy died early Sunday morning after reportedly mixing ecstasy with other pharmaceutical drugs. The B.C. Coroners Service is now investigating whether paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), an adulterant added to ecstasy believed to have recently killed at least 10 people in B.C. and Alberta, may have been a factor.

The boy reportedly took the drugs on Saturday night with several other people, according to the agency. Early Sunday, they heard him collapse and called 911. Paramedics transported the teen to Langley Memorial Hospital, however he could not be revived. It is not known what other drugs may have been in the boy's system.

"Toxicology testing will be completed as quickly as possible to determine whether the use of ecstasy was a factor in the death, and if so, whether the ecstasy tablet included the presence of PMMA," the Coroners Service said in a news release Monday. It is also reviewing the province's 16 ecstasy-related deaths in 2011, as PMMA had never before been found in ecstasy and was not routinely tested for previously.

Five British Columbians, ranging in age from 14 to 37, have died from PMMA-laced ecstasy since August, chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said last week. Of those, two happened this month. Three of the deaths occurred in the Lower Mainland and two on Vancouver Island. Five Calgar-ians have also died from tainted ecstasy in recent weeks.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, February 03

News Articles: Material in Pritchard garage could produce several kilograms of crystal meth
EnforcementKamloops area - There was enough raw materials in a Pritchard man's garage to make several kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, a B.C. Supreme Court judge was told Tuesday.

Ivan Georgiev, 39, is charged with several offences, including production of a controlled substance and possession of crystal meth for the purpose of trafficking. The federal Crown alleges he converted his Warren Road garage into a clandestine drug lab, where he cooked up large quantities of the illegal drug.

The lab was found after police raided the rural property in June 2009 following several weeks of surveillance. Health Canada chemist Sarita Jazwal told the court she found enough raw materials, including ephedrine, red phosphorous and hydriodic acid, to produce roughly 11 kilograms of crystal meth.

The man was jailed last year for three years on top of eight months he had served since his arrest after he pleaded guilty to weapons offences stemming from the same search that revealed the drug lab. The guns were found after police executed search warrants at Georgiev’s Pritchard property in 2010.

Officers found 28 firearms throughout the house. Many of them were loaded, with rounds in the chamber, ready to fire. Some of the weapons were prohibited and cannot be legally owned in Canada. Georgiev was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time. He was banned after he was convicted of production of marijuana in 2001.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, January 30

News Articles: TAINTED ECSTASY CAUSING DEATHS
Parent ResourcesA rash of ecstasy-related deaths in the province has been linked to a highly toxic and yet unpredictable chemical found in the toxicology results of its victims.

Paramethoxy-metamphetamine ( PMMA ) has been associated with at least five ecstasy deaths in B.C. over the last six months. On Jan. 16, the BC Coroners Service confirmed that it was investigating a fourth 2012 fatality believed to be the result of an ecstasy overdose - a 16-year-old Langley male.

"It's a learning process for us; we're gathering information as we go along," said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe. Over the past six years, the rates of ecstasy-related fatalities in the province have more than doubled.

Whereas 2006 saw seven deaths in the province, the three years leading up to 2011 each saw at least 20 people lose their life to the drug. Last weekend's death brings the early 2012 count to four. "Does that mean that we'll see these numbers continue to climb over the years? We certainly hope not," Lapointe said.

The traditional chemical found in ecstasy is MDMA, or methylenedioxy methamphetamine. But tablets of the drug often contain a mixture of other substances and usually in unknown quantities.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, January 25

News Articles: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
Crystal Meth UsersEcstasy can kill you.

Can that message be driven home any more acutely than it has in this community? In the past five weeks, the popular man-made drug has taken two lives, and is responsible for another that hangs in the balance.

On Nov. 27, Tyler Miller, 20, took ecstasy. He was a gifted Abbotsford musician and student, with great career plans. It's all over. He was dead in eight hours.

Ecstasy Pills often contain Meth.

On Dec. 19, 17-year-old Cheryl McCormack of Abbotsford ingested ecstasy with some friends ostensibly as a weight loss aid. She became unresponsive, and three days later, she died. She was a bright, fun and athletic teen.

On New Year's Eve, a 24-year-old Abbotsford woman engaged in "recreational" use of ecstasy with three friends. By 6 a.m. she was in critical condition in hospital, where she remains today.

The grief and suffering of the family and friends of these victims is excruciating. In that context, it is such cruel irony, considering ecstasy is known for inducing euphoria and a sense of well-being. It's chemical Russian roulette. You can feel good and survive perhaps many times. Or, you can end up dead, or on life support. It doesn't take prolonged use or abuse of ecstasy to court disaster.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, January 09

News Articles: AT WAR OVER THE WAR ON DRUGS
Crystal Meth UsersIn the war on drugs, a neutral zone is hard to find. The battle over Vancouver's Insite has been a case in point. From the start, the debate has been highly polarized. On one side are those who argue that drug addiction is a disease and that supervised injection sites save lives. On the other side are those who argue that we should be treating addicts, not enabling them. Now that the Supreme Court has put its mighty thumb on the scale, supervised injection sites will probably spread. But don't expect the shouting match to stop.

Mark Kleiman is a veteran of the drug-rhetoric wars. The problem with the drug debate, he says, "is that it's conducted between the disciples of Michel Foucault and the disciples of the Marquis de Sade." Foucault believed that the only crime is punishment. De Sade thought the meaner the punishment, the better.

Mr. Kleiman, a bushy bearded liberal Democrat, is a professor of public policy at UCLA and a leading expert on drug policy. His new book, Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know, is an invaluable guide to the facts. He favours harm-reduction programs such as Insite. But he also thinks that people who endorse the disease model of addiction can be just as ideological and simple-minded as the law-and-order crowd. "Some disease proponents ignore the fact that drug abuse is a disorder of the will," he says. "In my view, disease and bad habits are completely consistent descriptions of the same behaviour."

Another truth that harm-reducers play down is that not all the harm of drug abuse accrues to the user. To people in drug-ridden neighbourhoods, the drug user is the guy who stole their television set. The drug user is also the guy who keeps the drug dealers in business.

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, October 11

News Articles: Overdose deaths outpace the number of people killed in traffic accidents
Parent ResourcesCollege-age youth are increasingly overdosing on drugs and alcohol, according to 1999–2008 data on hospitalizations in this age group.

The rate of hospitalizations following overdose skyrocketed in people aged 18 to 24, the new study found: overdoses involving alcohol in combination with other drugs increased 76%; overdoses involving drugs other than alcohol rose 55%; and those involving alcohol alone went up 25%.

The most striking rise was seen in overdoses involving prescription painkillers, which leapt 122% over the same period.

In 2008, researchers estimated that there were 114,000 hospitalizations for single or multiple drug overdoses, 29,000 for combination alcohol and other drug overdoses and 29,000 for alcohol-only ODs.

Adults over age 25 saw similar increases in overdose rates, except in those involving both alcohol and other drugs — that increase was less steep. Although alcohol is much more commonly used than other drugs, it was responsible for a smaller proportion of overall overdose-related admissions to the hospital.

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Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, October 01