More Meth? Crystal Meth Business on the Rise in SK

According to the CBC, one of the noticeable trends in Regina crime last year was the rise of methamphetamine, often called crystal meth.

According to the Regina Police Service, there were 708 grams of meth seized last year, up from 308 grams in 2014. The number of meth seizures has also spiked, from 81 in 2014 to 133 in 2015.

“There’s more meth in the city,” police Chief Troy Hagen told reporters recently. “I think that we can say that with total certainty.”

The full story is here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/crystal-meth-seizures-on-rise-in-regina-1.3469643

This is an ongoing saga. Take a look back at “Swinging at the Shadows,” from the Globe and Mail in 2004. This Regina-based account partially focuses on Mr. Lund, who pleaded guilty to what proved to be Regina’s first case of crystal meth drug trafficking, as well as to charges of weapons offences and using counterfeit currency. His story embodies the rise of the meth business.

But what does it mean?

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Although crystal meth can be smoked, it can also be injected, which has the potential to make the HIV situation in the province even worse. Crystal meth can also negatively affect the immune system and this can then accelerate the progression of HIV.

In other words, the meth business is contributing to the “third world” rates of HIV infection in Saskatchewan, or what Maclean’s magazine calls our HIV epidemic.

Here’s a small section of the the Maclean’s piece that illustrates the importance of class and ethnicity:

‘The infection rate for Saskatchewan’s non-Aboriginal population is below the national average. Yet, while First Nations and Metis account for about 16 per cent of Saskatchewan’s population, they represented about 80 per cent of all new cases of HIV diagnosed in 2011, Wong told a workshop attended by a few hundred of the 6,000 delegates here. “The incidence rate in our Aboriginal population is about 88 per 100,000 [population], which is 14 times the national average, on par with various African countries.”’

 

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