The quiet rise of crystal meth

published on March 4, 2016 by Andrea Woo in The Globe and Mail

Fentanyl and oxycodone may be getting the headlines, but the use of cheap and available speed is soaring, writes Andrea Woo

Dean Foggin sits on the edge of his single bed, winter sunlight streaming through the window onto the white walls, his white robe, white slippers. It is his fifth time checking into this detox facility and, God willing, his last.

A 2013 report by the Urban Health Research Initiative of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS also noted increases based on longitudinal cohort studies of Vancouver drug users: “While the prevalence of crystal methamphetamine use is much lower when compared with the use of other drugs … there is an identifiable increase in the prevalence of smoked and injected crystal methamphetamine use between 2001 and 2007.” Between 2008 and 2011, non-injection crystal methamphetamine use plateaued, while injections remained high.

It is not just Vancouver. In a 2015 survey of street-involved adults in Victoria who regularly use substances, 62.5 per cent reported having used crystal meth in the previous 30 days, according to the Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC). This is down slightly from 2014 (69.1 per cent) but up markedly from 2013 (42.5 per cent) and 2010 to 2012 (between 22 and 25 per cent). Last year, the stimulant surpassed heroin as the No. 1 substance injected among surveyparticipants.

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