Drug expert visits islands

  • Dec. 5, 2005 2:00 p.m.

By Margo Hearne–Wayne K. Jeffery has been with the RCMP for 34 years. He’s been in charge of toxicology with the forensic lab and knows first hand the human tragedies related to drug abuse.
“In the lower mainland methamphetamine or ‘crystal meth’ has become the popular drug of abuse among the young kids,” Mr. Jeffery said. “It’s spreading into virtually every major community in BC. It is a concern to police, justice, education, health and communities in general.
“For instance, ‘crystal meth’ is a central nervous stimulant. In low doses it makes you work harder, faster, longer and you don’t need sleep and don’t eat. People get hooked on it and the doses start to increase. The user becomes agitated and paranoid and physically there’s an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. With the paranoia comes violence. Where you have meth, you have violence. People are generally aware of what they are doing until they become psychotic, then they no longer know what they’re doing. This violence is a danger to family and community, often with very tragic results.
“We will be showing pictures of how to identify drug abusers which will help the community recognize them and help nurses, doctors, RCMP and firemen to treat them and be aware of the violence associated with drug abuse. There may be meth labs on island and the chemicals used are toxic and hazardous. There are often fires and explosions in these labs with subsequent loss of life.
“We will also be talking about the date rape drugs used on both young men and women by sexual predators. We’ll be advising on ways to be on the lookout for these drugs and answer questions related to all drug use.”
“I was doing a ‘training for first responders program'”, he said in conclusion. “I was in Smithers, Terrace and Prince Rupert and Sgt. Vardy of the local RCMP invited me over here to talk about drug abuse. I’m looking forward to visiting all the high schools on island and talking to the students, educators and others about the effects of drug abuse in the community. I hope it’s helpful.”

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