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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

Press Releases: ANOTHER ECSTASY OVERDOSE IN ABBOTSFORD
Crystal Meth UsersWoman Battles for Her Life

A 24-year-old Abbotsford woman is battling for her life after ingesting ecstasy with three friends on New Year's Eve. Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the woman, whose name has not been released, was at a home in the 33700 block of George Ferguson Way when she became unconscious and unresponsive.

She was treated on scene at about 6 a.m. on New Year's Day by BC Ambulance and Abbotsford Fire Rescue personnel before being transported to hospital. MacDonald said the women, ages 23 to 31, took "numerous" blue ecstasy pills throughout the evening, starting at the residence. They then went out for the night and returned to the home, ingesting the last pills at about 4 a.m. The friends indicated that the victim consumed more pills than they did, MacDonald said.

This is the second ecstasy overdose in Abbotsford in less than two weeks. Cheryl McCormack, 17, died Dec. 22 after having taken ecstasy with three other friends at a sleep-over on Dec. 19. McCormack's friends indicated that the girls had been taking the drug, which can suppress appetite, to aid in weight loss.

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, January 06

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: Meth Users Have Higher Risk Of Developing Parkinson's
Crystal Meth UsersCanadian scientists say there's a link between the abuse of methamphetamines and the development of Parkinson's disease.

Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto used medical records for more than 40,000 people in California who had been hospitalized for abusing meth- or amphetamine-like stimulants from 1990 to 2005.

Toxic Meth lab ingredients.

They were compared to records for more than 200,000 people admitted for appendicitis, and more than 35,000 diagnosed with cocaine use disorders. A diagnosis of Parkinson's was identified from hospital records or death certificates.

The study found that the methamphetamine group had a 76 per cent higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

MRI Scan - Monitoring brain function.

Dr. Stephen Kish, a co-author of the paper, says it's important to note that the findings don't apply to patients like those with ADHD who take amphetamines for medical purposes, since they use much lower doses.

Researchers have long suspected that abuse of these drugs could predispose users to develop Parkinson's disease, which is a dopamine deficiency neurological disorder. That's because meth and other amphetamine-type stimulants, which are believed to be the second most widely used class of illicit drugs in the world, can damage dopaminergic neurons.

Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, July 26

News Articles: SCOURGE OF METH RUINS LIVES
Crystal Meth Users The link between crystal meth and the pharmaceutical industry is not immediately obvious.

Meth production doesn't depend on agriculture. While the ingredients of narcotics must be grown, meth depends on pseudoephedrine. It's the active ingredient found in decongestants. Illegal labs easily convert pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.

Meth provides a euphoric high. Users report that the feeling is so intense that every other experience seems hollow. They are immediately hooked, intent on finding the next hit.

The effect on health is devastating. Skin tissue and blood vessels are destroyed. Teeth fall out and open skin sores appear. Liver damage and convulsions ravage users. They become frail and gaunt as health deteriorates; eventually they become barely recognizable caricatures of their former selves.

Canada could take some lessons on how to control meth production from Oregon, the first state to be ravaged by meth. Fifteen years ago, meth was devastating whole communities. One user's solution to the epidemic was drastic: "they should just bomb this whole area, it's that bad," she told PBS network's Frontline.

By 2002, one-half of police arrests in Oregon were due to meth users involved in crime in order to maintain their habit. They committed 85 per cent of the property crimes. One-half of children taken into child protection custody were from the parents of meth addicts.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, July 13

News Articles: Rotting Flesh and Cocaine
Crystal Meth UsersDoctors discovered that Cocaine abusers are at a much further risk for health problems.

Symptoms such as blood pressure problems, stroke, and hallucinations, are not the only thing Cocaine users must worry about; they must also be concerned with rotting flesh.

In a publication of Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors discussed two cases of women with a history of Cocaine abuse who both suffered symptoms consisting of purple lesions on the face, ears, legs, and other parts of the body.

Doctors claimed that these symptoms are common for toxicity with Levamisole, an approved anti-worming agent used for veterinary purposes typically used to treat cattle, sheep and pigs. The substance was once used to treat autoimmune diseases, kidney disorders, and cancer in humans in the U.S. but since has been banned for its side effects.

These effects, doctors claim, are being seen in Cocaine users, ranging from a variety of symptoms. The least serious being skin lesions, which are easily treatable and go away in time The most serious side effect being Agranulocytosis, a disease that effects white blood cell content and which requires hospitalization to cure.

Doctors claim that up to eighty percent of Cocaine being brought into the U.S. is being cut with Levamisole. Whether it’s to increase the effects of the Cocaine or to increase the profit margins, it is still unknown. Only one thing can be known for sure, it is not in any way a healthy alternative.

Posted by cryadmin on Monday, June 07

Crystal Meth Use Up From 2008 - Hawaii
Crystal Meth UsersCrystal Meth Use Rose 33 Percent In 2009

Hawaii’s largest, locally owned drug testing company said crystal methamphetamine use is up, and drug prevention organizations said the numbers are alarming.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services released its year-end numbers for 2009 and found that crystal meth use rose 33 percent from 2008.

According to the laboratory, which conducts tests for companies and those seeking employment, the biggest rise came in the fourth quarter. The lab conducts 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests each quarter, and in late 2009, meth use was up 57 percent from the year’s average rate.

“We don’t know if it’s attributed to the economy, perhaps, or if it is a one-quarter anomaly,” Carl Linden of Diagnostic Laboratory Services said.

Drug prevention groups like the Hawaii Meth Project said it’s common to see increases in substance abuse in a bad economy.

“It certainly presents an opportunity to sell drugs, right? So that’s a potential revenue or income for somebody,” Cindy Adams, the executive director of Hawaii Meth Project, said.

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, January 17

News Articles: Vision hesitates on backing crack smoking room
Crystal Meth UsersMayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver councillors will not state a position on whether a supervised crack cocaine smoking facility should open in the city. Vision Coun. Kerry Jang said the party's caucus discussed the issue but more information is required about what prompted a recent call by research scientists for such a facility.

Jang was referring to a study published last month in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that revealed a spike in HIV rates among the city's crack smokers. The researchers recommended opening a supervised inhalation room and conducting a scientific trial to see if HIV rates would decrease. Dr. Perry Kendall, the province's chief medical health officer, supports the recommendation.

"Right now, our position is until we know the mechanism [through which crack smokers are contracting HIV], there's no decision on it," Jang said. "We've discussed it in caucus and I've discussed it with the mayor and city manager. All of us agree, until we know the mechanism, we can't have a position."

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Posted by cryadmin on Thursday, November 26

Personal Stories: PROGRAM HELPED ADDICT TO GET OFF STREETS OF NANAIMO
Crystal Meth UsersFormer Meth User Hit Bottom Before Turning Life Around. Drug Users Benefit From Community Centre

Nanaimo's Ryan Glover credits Vancouver Island University's Adult Basic Education program and a counsellor at a local recovery centre for getting him off the street and keeping him away from the drug use that almost ruined his life.

The former crystal methamphetamine addict will graduate from VIU this summer and wants to help others kick their addictions and become contributing members of society.

Glover, 36, understands what it is like to be homeless, involved with criminals, addicted to crystal methamphetamine and without direction and believes that if he can change others can as well. He knows what it is like to be at the mercy of an addictive substance and how that can lead to a life on the street. It hasn't been easy but since he hit his bottom he has realized that life has a purpose and wants others who are in similar situations to know they can do the same.

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Posted by cryadmin on Saturday, October 03

News Articles: Crystal clear - Meth is in Toronto and we should all be worried
Crystal Meth UsersBack in the early spring, a fire ripped through an east-end townhouse on Craven Rd. in the Coxwell Ave.-Gerrard St. area, sending the "cook" to hospital with burns so severe that he had to be put in a medically induced coma.

What he was cooking was crystal meth, a scourge drug that is becoming more and more prevalent in Toronto.

"Unfortunately, crystal meth is here," says Staff-Insp. Mario DiTommaso, head of the drug squad. "It is becoming prime time in my morning reports (from officers in the field.)

"Not only is it dangerous to make because of the volatility of the chemicals used, it is also an extremely addictive drug, more so than crack cocaine."

While hazardous chemicals were indeed discovered at the scene of the Craven Rd. fire, necessitating a hazmat team being called in to both tame and contain the chemicals, the actual drug being manufactured was not revealed.

But it was crystal meth.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, August 17