The Liberal Member of Parliament Pat Finnigan is raising eyebrows in Ottawa by increasing awareness about the terrible toll meth use is having in Miramichi. Recently a Community Advisory Committee has been formed and held their second meeting looking at how to address this growing problem.
This is one of the most serious issues facing families in Miramichi-Grand Lake and it’s imperative that we do everything possible to educate people, ensure they know where to find support and provide any and all assistance possible to get ahead of this health crisis. MP Pat Finnigan
In Canada, there has been a recent increase in drug offences and seizures involving methamphetamine, including a 590% increase in possession incidents between 2010 and 2017. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse & Addiction writes “the availability of methamphetamine has been increasing in recent years.” Several jurisdictions such as Winnipeg, indigenous communities and rural communities report at least a three-fold increase in the use of methamphetamine over the past five years among individuals accessing treatment or harm reduction services.
Methamphetamine is often made in illegal, clandestine laboratories with commonly available, inexpensive chemicals, such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, found in medications, among other sources. According to the Winnipeg Police Service, much of the Canadian supply is coming from Mexico and China. When methamphetamine is used regularly over a long period, there is an increased risk for developing psychosis or psychotic symptoms. These symptoms include violent behaviour, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, which pose risks and challenges to medical and healthcare professionals.
MP Finnigan said the federal Liberal government is “deeply concerned about the devastating impact that meth and opioid crisis have had all across Canada…to address this crisis we are responding by investing $200 million in treatment and services and fast-tracking regulatory action to cut red tape.”
The local indigenous community of Metepenagiag has also been collaborating with local officials. Chief Bill Ward is aware that meth is having an impact on families. He was pleased that all levels of government including health officials and policing services are working together to combat the terrible impacts of meth.