Onion Lake RCMP says that drug activity, including methamphetamine, is on the rise in and around Onion Lake. Officers say that the last quarter of 2018, between October 1 and December 31, Mounties responded to ten possesion of drugs charges and 16 trafficking charges.
The presence of methamphetamine has the RCMP increasing its efforts to combat the drug through education. They want to remind residents about the dangers presented by the drug and the consequences it can have. Laili Yazdani, Community Program Officer with the Onion Lake RCMP, confirms the drug can take a number of different forms that people should be aware of.
“It can range in colour from clear to white or brown. It can be in the form of a rock-like semi-transparent crystal, an odourless powder, pills or a peanut butter-like substance,” says Yazdani, adding that there are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has been using methamphetamines, such as agitation, large pupils, sweating, weight loss, sores and scabs on the skin, twitching and facial ticks.
The use of methamphetamines can have a number of long-term consequences as well. Memory loss, psychosis, addiction, permanent mental health and dental problems are things that meth users may encounter. Yazdani adds that the use of meth can lead to an overdose, which has its own telltale signs.
“Those include difficulty breathing, chest pain, stomach pain, irregular heartbeat and paranoia. If anyone does suspect an overdose, they’re asked to phone 911 immediately.”
It’s emphasized that the possession, use and distribution of controlled substances like methamphetamine are against the law in Canada. Someone found guilty of these charges can receive a prison sentence ranging from six months to seven years. Anyone who is addicted to the substance is recommended to seek help from services in their community, such as the Thorpe Recovery Centre in Lloydminster or the Ekweskeet Healing Lodge in Onion Lake.