Amid the fentanyl crisis that western Canada is experiencing, a trend is being observed in Medicine Hat: It is methamphetamine – not fenanyl – that is wreaking the most havoc.


A staggering increase

Staff Sgt. Jason Graham reported that only a few years ago, meth was part of about 10% of all drug seizures. Today, that number is about 50%. Though it is said that methamphetamine may be safer than fentanyl, it is still incredibly dangerous and highly addictive. It came into the spotlight more recently when, in December of 2015, four Christmas cards were delivered to the Medicine Hat Remand Centre, soaked in some form of liquid meth.


“I wouldn’t say fentanyl is the biggest problem. I would say methamphetamine, for us, is a huge problem. We’re seeing a spike in our methamphetamine use here in Medicine Hat.”

Sgt. Graham continues, “Being on the highway here… and close to the U.S. border and close to Calgary brings a lot of activity around here.” Fortunately, organized crime has not been a pressing issue in Medicine Hat, primarily because it is a smaller city – only 61,000 live there. It is simpler for authorities to get a handle on drug-related situations.

On the lookout for fentanyl

All things considered, police still understand that the fentanyl crisis is a very serious matter. In 2015 alone, Alberta saw 272 deaths related to fentanyl. British Columbia even declared a public health emergency after the significant increase in overdose deaths. Police will remain vigilant of the possibility of fentanyl becoming more prominent in the future.

Dr. Karin Goodison, the medical officer of health from Lethbridge, states, “Our biggest concern is fentanyl, because you don’t know what you’re getting. The challenge with fentanyl is you get variations, and the concentrations of the strength of it can be huge.”

Just say “no”

The big thing to remember is that with any illegal and unregulated drugs is that you honestly have no idea what you are getting. There is no way to tell if someone “cut” a drug with another, or if the concentration is enough to kill you. In these scenarios, it is best to simply say “no”. You will be glad that you did.


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