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News Articles: Experts See Increasing Numbers Of Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs
Crystal Meth SocietyIllicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin have always been a parent's nightmare. But perfectly legal and easily accessible prescription medications are now the recreational drugs of choice for many teenagers, prompting physicians at Johns Hopkins Children's Center to urge pediatricians to screen specifically for their abuse during routine visits.

"Ask teens explicitly about prescription drug use with concrete questions like 'Have you ever taken a pain pill or other medication not prescribed for you?'" Hopkins Children's Melissa Long, M.D., told fellow pediatricians during a recent presentation at the hospital.

In 2009, some 2.6 million teenagers reported using a controlled substance recreationally for the first time, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And a 2010 study by the Drug Abuse Monitoring Network found that the number of emergency room visits related to abuse of prescription pain pills doubled between 2004 and 2008, signaling just how dangerous these medications can be.

Increased prescription drug abuse is likely related to the growing legitimate use of these drugs, Hopkins experts say, as more physicians today prescribe controlled substances than 10 years ago. A 2010 study in Pediatrics showed that the number of controlled medication prescriptions to teenagers nearly doubled between 1994 and 2007, from 6.4 percent to 11.2 percent of all teen visits to the ER and outpatient clinics. This number does not include medications prescribed to family members that the teens may have access to, experts say.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, February 07

News Articles: Tainted cocaine in Maritimes: officials
Crystal Meth SocietyCocaine users in the Maritimes are being warned that they are likely ingesting a harmful medication used to deworm livestock, says the Canadian Harm Reduction Network.

Between 60 and 90 per cent of the cocaine in North America is being cut with the drug levamisole, network director Walter Cavalieri said. Levamisole, an anti-parasitic drug, was withdrawn for human use in Canada in 2003.

Cavalieri said cocaine on the East Coast comes from the same sources, so the percentage of contaminated cocaine would likely be the same.

Levamisole is thought to increase the high for users, and cocaine manufacturers use it because it's cheap. But, Cavalieri said, it can reduce white blood cell counts leading to serious health effects.

People who ingest cocaine cut with levamisole can develop agranulocytosis, a condition that makes the immune system incapable of fighting off infections.

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Posted by cryadmin on Thursday, November 11

Crystal Meth SocietyThe oil portraits at Collingwood School stare out over a mostly empty lecture hall. They number 13 -- depicting former board directors or heads of school -- some seated in the garden, one with a hand on the hip, one holding a basketball. As many people, maybe 15 if you count the two guidance counsellors, pepper the 200-seat auditorium. Mark McLaughlin stands at the podium. He is lean, serious, intent.

The Victoria man points to a display of rat poison, cat litter, drain cleaner, cough syrup -- some common ingredients for cooking crystal meth. The corrosive toxic stew is one of the most addictive street drugs and years ago was flagged as a Vancouver area epidemic. Police say the home-cooked psychostimulant is now nation-wide.

"The secret of crystal meth is that it just wants more meth," McLaughlin says, looking out over his audience. "Crystal meth can reach in and take away from a person everything they have." Four years ago his teen -- he asks not to reveal any more about his family -- became a meth addict and a runaway.

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Posted by cryadmin on Monday, April 05

Personal Stories: Crystal clear about Crystal Meth
Crystal Meth SocietyCrystal Meth Society of B.C. founder Mark McLaughlin and meth survivor Kevin Henry hold common household items used to manufacture methamphetamine. They are speaking Thursday on the perils of using the drug.

There wasn’t one particular moment when Kevin Henry realized methamphetamines had dragged his life to rock bottom.

It wasn’t in the grip of hallucination, when he spoke to a telephone pole for two hours. It wasn’t trying to steal a police car or not eating or sleeping for weeks on end. It wasn’t even overdosing and surviving two heart attacks as a teenager.

“It was just years of people telling me I needed to stop this life,” said the 25-year-old Sooke resident. “I was 15 or 16 when I went into it. I was addicted pretty quick.”

Henry, now five years clean, will present his grim but redemptive story as a Victoria-area meth addict, as part of a Crystal Meth Society of B.C. talk at Isabelle Reader Theater on Thursday.

Henry spent about four years on the streets, living day to day as a petty criminal and meth smoker. Binges would last two weeks or more with little food or water. Doctors couldn’t understand why he was still among the living.

“One time I went (to hospital) for an overdose,” Henry said. “I had snuck in a pipe and drugs in my sock. I overdosed again on the bathroom floor.”

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Posted by cryadmin on Friday, January 29

Crystal Meth SocietyAfter Presentation, 94% Of Students Said They'd Never Take Crystal Meth

What: Be Crystal Clear, presentation about crystal meth
Where: Spencer Middle School, 1026 Goldstream Ave.
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28
Tickets: Free, information at

As Mark McLaughlin places bottles of Drano, antifreeze, brake fluid, acetone, camping fuel, rat poison and paint remover on a table, his audience is filled with growing horror.

These toxic chemicals can burn on contact, corrode water pipes, decompose paint. Who in their right minds would pour a deadly cocktail of them into their bodies?

Children do, says McLaughlin, to get high.

These are ingredients of crystal methamphetamine -- a cheap, deadly, readily available illegal drug in Canada -- and it's no surprise people and families are blown up by the mixture.

It's also no wonder the drug is infamous for horrifically aging people, for causing them to tear off their clothes like madmen.

"They literally burn up," he says. "It's like burning the candle at both ends with a blow torch."

McLaughlin doesn't discuss details, but says a family member was once consumed by the addiction and almost died. The experience drove him to found the Crystal Meth Society -- a group of parents, professionals and businesspeople such as Don Monsour, chairman of B.C. Culinary Tourism, and Bob Parrotta, food and beverage director at Butchart Gardens -- to educate people about drugs, and halt their use.

The society will give a free presentation called Be Crystal Clear at 7 p.m. Thursday in Spencer Middle School, 1026 Goldstream Ave.

Parents, students, counsellors, paramedics, firefighters, care workers, educators and others can learn "how to step up to the plate and protect their community and recognize symptoms."

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, January 26

News Articles: Canada is Colombia North - 62% of the Meth seized in Japan is from Canada
Crystal Meth Society62% of the Meth seized in Japan is from Canada

Canada is Colombia North. When Krysta Edwards crossed over from B.C. to Washington in June, border officers allegedly found a hidden compartment in the 23-year-old North Vancouver resident’s Ford Explorer. Inside was 27 kg of Benzylpiperazine, or BZP. Despite its origins as a treatment for intestinal worms in cattle, BZP has found new life as the it party drug at night clubs, and the little blue pills recovered from Edwards’ truck, stamped to look like Homer Simpson, were worth US$1 million. For those on the front lines of American law enforcement, it was yet another reminder of the huge synthetic drug industry booming in Canada. “They used to just throw marijuana in hockey bags and stuff it in the trunk, but now we’re seeing a level of sophistication similar to what we’ve been dealing with on the southern border [with Mexico],” says Chief Thomas Schreiber, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Blaine, Wash.

Canada is well known for its B.C. Bud, a highly-potent form of marijuana. But a new industry is thriving. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in its 2009 report, said Canada is the largest ecstasy supplier to the U.S. Meanwhile, Japan says Canada is the single biggest source of seized ecstasy tablets. Asian-Canadian gangs have also ramped up the production of methampetamines, shipping vast quantities to the U.S. and overseas. According to the U.N., Canada accounts for 62 per cent of the meth seized in Japan by weight, and 83 per cent in Australia. The spoils are enormous. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates Canadian drug traffickers now generate between US$33.7 billion and US$56.2 billion each year from U.S. drug sales.

Canada: The new global drug lord — Canada is a leading producer, and exporter, of illegal synthetic drugs

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Posted by cryadmin on Tuesday, August 18

Crystal Meth SocietyAlbertans want to see the growing tide of drug-fuelled organized crime in Canada fought with renewed vigor - both to increase public safety and for the general good of all rural and urban communities.

According to the recently released United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes World Drug Report 2009, Canada has become a major player in the manufacturing of hard synthetic drugs, particularly highly addictive methamphetamine.

"Canada-based organized crime groups' participation in the methamphetamine trade has grown significantly over the past six years," the report says. "Law enforcement intelligence notes that Asian organized crime and traditional outlaw motorcycle gangs operating in Canada had increased the amount of methamphetamine they manufactured for export, primarily to the U.S."

While it may be tempting to say that the hard drug problems in Canada are focused in the B.C. lower mainland and in the greater Toronto area, the fact is the illegal drug manufacturing business has made itself at home across Canada, including right here in West Central Alberta.

Not so long ago one of the largest-ever Canadian methamphetamine drug labs was uncovered near Cremona thanks to a public tip. How many other similar labs are operating between Calgary and Red Deer today remains anyone's guess - but to say they are not there would surely be naive.

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, July 19

Crystal Meth Society Oh, Canada. Thy home of meth and X.

In a United Nations report released yesterday, Canadian drug lords were painted as sharing their patriot love for synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and Ecstasy with nations around the world, making Canada a major trafficking hub in today's trans-national market.

But this comes as no surprise to local law enforcement, who have seen an increasing number of clandestine labs producing much more amphetamine type stimulants ( ATS ) than our domestic market can hold.

If you can judge the amount of drugs in a country by the amount of drugs that are seized -- which is partly what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has done -- our famed home-grown Cannabis isn't as worrisome as ATS on a global scale.

In 2007, the fourth most amount of "Ecstasy-group substances," such as MDMA, was seized in Canada, making up 12% of global seizures.

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, June 28

Crystal Meth Society Social agencies and municipal politicians got a look at the disturbing facts around crystal meth Friday as a Grey Bruce coalition made a pitch for help battling the problem.

Crystal meth use in Bruce and Grey is growing faster than the provincial average, according to a report by Glenda Clarke and Associates. Health Canada's most recent figures - from 2004 - put meth use at 9.8 per cent of adults surveyed, while a 2007 Ontario Student Drug and Health survey shows 1.4 per cent of students used meth that year.

Crystal meth may not be in widespread use for the general population, according to a report from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, but meth use is on the rise among street youth.

Parents of users and users who spoke at Friday's forum made it clear that on the street is where crystal meth puts its victims.

"This drug addiction is nothing short of a nightmare," said a parent identified as Mary.

"Crystal meth is not even a drug in my eyes, it is a poison, my daughter is poisoning herself, and we are watching a beautiful teenager turn into a devil before us."

A user identified as Bill said when he was 20 a friend gave him crystal meth. "Eventually it caused all kinds of problems like anger. I freaked out easily and had financial troubles. Everything was affected. I couldn't hold a job. I had maybe 12-15 jobs over that time," he said.

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Posted by cryadmin on Sunday, April 05

News Articles: DIRTY DRUGS
Crystal Meth SocietyYoung people are most likely to fall victim to street drugs laced with dangerous contaminants, research at the University of the Fraser Valley shows.

Darryl Plecas, RCMP University Research Chair in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, teamed up with other UFV researchers, and found the drug ecstasy is almost always laced with unexpected ingredients or more addictive drugs.

"Youth are definitely most at risk because they are the largest consumers of ecstasy," said Plecas.

Most street drugs are contaminated, but ecstasy is the worst offender, he said.

"The average tablet has nine different contaminants, but the greatest worry is that one of the most common contaminants is methamphetamine ( crystal meth )."

The drug often also contain adulterants such as OxyContin ( a prescription opiate ), the horse tranquilizer ketamine, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate, the date rape drug.

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Posted by cryadmin on Wednesday, April 01