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CrystalMethBC - Meth Information Website: Parent Resources

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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


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

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: 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

News Articles: Crystal meth finding its way to ecstasy users
Parent ResourcesEducation seems to be winning the battle against crystal meth in Leduc, though community members are concerned that dealers are now hiding meth in other forms to trick youth.

"I think most people know that crystal meth is exceedingly dangerous, and I think we've seen campaigns from every level of government not to use it. I think most youth have got that message," explained Leduc Community Drug Action Committee (LCDAC) coordinator Heather Graham, who cautioned that more education is still needed.

"What's being marketed as ecstasy in Leduc is actually crystal meth. So it's still an issue, and youth are accessing it without realizing it."

"We don't see a lot of meth out here," agreed Leduc RCMP Drug Enforcement officer John Baker, who noted that education shedding a negative light on the drug has been effective. "It's sort of a niche drug for some people, since it does have a stigma."

According to the Government of Alberta's Premier's Task Force on Crystal Meth, it is an illegal "easy and inexpensive to make" drug with recipes including household ingredients like paint thinner, drain cleaner and cold medications. Crystal meth is a highly addictive stimulant that causes a long high lasting from eight to 24 hours, and it is the smokeable form of the drug methamphetamine, a derivative of amphetamine. Meth users report increased concentration and extended periods of insomnia, along with side effects such as psychosis, seizures, heart attacks and strokes.

Ecstasy is the street name for an illegal chemical called MDMA that is usually sold in pill form, and often contains other illegal substances. The drug is often seen in connection to rave culture and the dance scene in the province — an Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission study determined that "the rave scene is a setting where drug use is generally accepted" noting some dancers feel that ecstasy-like drugs enhance raves.

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Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, July 30

Parent ResourcesWith Names Like Red Dove, Ivory Wave and Hurricane Charlie, the Latest Trend in Drug Abuse Is Disguised As Bath Salts

Police and social agencies are monitoring an epidemic of abuse of so-called bath salts that threatens to spill over the border from the U.S. into Canada and onto the streets of Kamloops.

Although there's no sign of the designer drug in the city yet, its easy access via the Internet makes it likely that the dangerous narcotic will come to town, Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said Wednesday.

"The natural migration of these types of things is into Canada," said Learned, adding the drug has also turned up in Europe.

"With the proliferation of availability through Internet purchases, there would be people who are hearing about this and are purchasing it over the Internet."

The products - labelled Red Dove, Ivory Wave and Hurricane Charlie and masquerading as over-the-counter bath salts - are also available via small retail outlets to customers who smoke, snort, inject or eat the chemicals mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone ( MDPV ).

The powder's effects are similar to a methamphetamine, Learned said. They can induce a rapid heart rate, visual hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis.

Some cases in the U.S. involved people engaging in self-mutilation after hallucinating on the drugs. The Washington Post reported that a 21-year-old man in Louisiana committed suicide following three days of delirium after he snorted the chemicals.

Learned heard the powder can cause irreversible damage to livers, kidneys and heart muscles. Some people have ended up on permanent dialysis after use whether they are first time or seasoned drug users, he said, likening the drug's use to playing Russian roulette.

"It could be the same as putting a bullet in the chamber," said Learned.

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, July 26

News Articles: 'Smartie parties' common among Ontario teens
Parent ResourcesBROCKVILLE, ONT. - Teenagers call them “Smartie parties.”

Youth in eastern Ontario have increasingly been raiding their parents' medicine cabinets and throwing parties where they pass around bowls full of various prescription medications, Staff Sgt. Shawn White of the Cornwall Community Police Service told the ongoing Brockville, Ont., coroner's inquest into the 2008 deaths of Dustin King and Donna Bertrand on Monday.

King, 19, and Bertrand, 41, died days apart in the same Brockville, Ont., apartment from overdoses on prescription opiate drugs.

White, head of the force's criminal investigations branch, said the people who attend these parties are misinformed about the potential perils of the drugs they are taking.

“They are often under the mistaken impression that these drugs must be safe if they were prescribed by a doctor,” he said.

White, who is part of a task force set up in eastern Ontario in 2009 to combat oxycodone abuse in the area, said its research indicates teens are increasingly joining the market for illegal consumption of prescription opioids.

He referenced the 2007 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, in which 21% of respondents said they had used prescription drugs in a recreational manner. One in five of these students, White said, had used prescription opioids illegally.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, June 29

News Articles: Cocaine users warned deadly mix on streets
Parent ResourcesOutreach workers say a lethal agent is now in London

Tainted crack and cocaine laced with a chemical that can kill is surfacing in London after years of wreaking havoc in big-city Canada and the U.S.

A nurse with London’s InterCommunity Health Centre discovered an infection caused by the chemical in a cocaine user in January, Henry Eastabrook, a centre outreach worker, confirmed Friday.

The centre is warning outreach and addiction workers in London about the chemical, a livestock deworming agent called levamisole.

“It can kill you if you continue using it. It attacks your immune system,” Eastabrook said.

Levamisole can cause agranuloctyosis, a dangerous reduction of white blood cells, which impairs the body’s ability to fight off even minor infections.

Cocaine and crack users with dark bruises that turn into scabs, often around the ears, or a rapid onset of fevers and chills should head to hospital emergency rooms immediately, the health centre warns.

It’s not clear how widespread the tainted cocaine is in London. Police couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, February 08

Adult Health And Wealth Predicted By Childhood Self-Control
Parent ResourcesA long-term study has found that children who scored lower on measures of self-control as young as age 3 were more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32.

Self-control in the more than 1,000 New Zealand children who participated in the study was assessed by teachers, parents, observers and the children themselves. It included measures like "low frustration tolerance, lacks persistence in reaching goals, difficulty sticking with a task, over-active, acts before thinking, has difficulty waiting turn, restless, not conscientious."

Fast-forward to adulthood, and the kids scoring lowest on those measures scored highest for things like breathing problems, gum disease, sexually transmitted disease, inflammation, overweight, and high cholesterol and blood pressure, according to an international research team led by Duke University psychologists Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi.

The impulsivity and relative inability to think about the long-term of the lower self-control individuals gave them more difficulty with finances, like savings, home ownership and credit card debt. They also were more likely to be single parents, have a criminal conviction record, and be dependent on alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and harder drugs.

"These adult outcomes were predictable across the entire spectrum of self-control scores, from low to high," Moffitt said.

Yet study participants who somehow found a way to improve their self-control as they aged fared better in adulthood than their childhood scores would have predicted. Self-control is something that can be taught, the researchers say, and doing so could save taxpayers a pile of money on health care, criminal justice and substance abuse problems down the road.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, January 26