Addictions counsellor Rand Teed says crystal meth has become increasingly available in Regina over the past three years.
“Substance abuse is reaching epidemic proportions,” Teed said. “I’ve run into a lot more people who have come to me as an addictions counsellor… for a meth problem.”
Crystal meth is a methamphetamine-based drug, also commonly called “speed” or “crank.” The stimulant can be smoked, swallowed or injected.
And it’s easier than ever to find the drug in Regina.
“Availability and price – if it’s around, people are more likely to try it,” Teed said. “I’ve talked to high school kids who have tried it.”
According to the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, 76 clients identified meth as a problem in 2013. Over the past year, that number has increased to 255 clients.
Regina police are seeing the effects.
“Crystal meth is an addictive drug, it fuels desperation in people,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Walter with the Regina police Street Crimes Unit. “They have to find ways to fuel their addictions.”
Police say street crimes such as property offences, break and enters and vehicle thefts are often tied to crystal meth use.
In 2014, Regina police seized around 300 grams of meth, and made 81 seizures. Last year, there were more than twice as many grams of the drug seized, and the number of seizures almost doubled.
“Meth has been around, but really this is the most prevalent that I’ve seen it,” Walter said. “We did see pockets over the year, but it seems to be a lot more prevalent now.”