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Canada: Crystal meth use on the rise

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  • Canada: Crystal meth use on the rise


    Caught in a crisis
    While Canada is preoccupied with opioid addiction, crystal meth is on the rise — and threatens to deepen the country's drug emergency
    By Nicole Ireland
    January 14, 2020

    As a cold September rain poured down in Kenora, a van stopped to pick up a young man who residents in this northwestern Ontario town typically shun.

    "People cross the street when they see me," Jory Smith said. "It feels horrible."

    This was no ordinary van. It was a mobile health unit, run by a small team of street nurses, and it was designed to give some dignity back to drug users like Smith.

    The 31-year-old has been addicted to opioids for years, but said they've become "harder to find" in this region since authorities started cracking down on opioid prescriptions. So he's turned to crystal meth, a dramatically different kind of drug that has become readily available here.

    Despite its reputation as a tourist haven — with its cottages on Lake of the Woods and renowned fishing and boating — Kenora is a town gripped by addiction.

    Like many others in this community of 15,000, Jory Smith is addicted to opioids and crystal meth, and every day is a quest to find a way to alleviate the debilitating withdrawal symptoms and cravings that make him "dopesick." ...