October 29, 2013 - 9:38 AM
KAMLOOPS – It's cheap, it's a weight loss tool, it has a large influence on the community and it's destructive.
Crystal methamphetamine is a growing concern in Kamloops and the local RCMP is looking to educate the public about the drug this fall.
Kamloop's top cop Insp. Brad Mueller says the increase in property crime in the city (up nearly 27 per cent between July and September over the same time last year) can be directly attributed to crystal meth.
“We're seeing a large influence of crystal meth in the community. We do see an increase in the level of users and the injection of crystal meth in the community,” Mueller says. “Certainly that's a trend we've seen in B.C. and right across the western provinces.”
Mueller explains the cost of purchasing the drug is 'significantly less' than some of the more traditional drugs, like marijuana or traditional cocaine, but is still a very 'destructive' drug.
“For $10-20 you can get enough for a fix, to get you high,” he says. “That has translated into an increase in property crime — the couple toonies you leave in the console of your car, the sunglasses and little things left in the car become appetizing to these people.... To purchase the drugs they need to get high.”
An increase in theft from vehicles, break and enters and even robberies are a direct result of this increase in drug use, Mueller says.
“Certainly we've seen increases in theft from motor vehicles, B&Es (break and enters), some instances of robberies on the lower end of the scale. We recognize that... we're working on strategic plans,” Mueller says. “It's new for us here.”
Unfortunately this chemical-based drug is also marketed to young girls as a weight loss drug Insp. Jenny Latham says, but a public education program will be hitting schools by the end of this fall.
The program will also go out to the general public since the problem is not just with high school students, both Latham and Mueller point out, anyone looking for a cheap high tends to favour the drug, including those who live on the street.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013