Prairie Post (West Edition)

Alberta RCMP recognized Internatio­nal Overdose Awareness Day 2022

- Contribute­d

In 2021, Alberta lost over 800 lives to meth-related accidental overdoses – a 28% increase from such tragic fatalities in 2020.

On Aug. 31, the Alberta RCMP recognized Internatio­nal Overdose Awareness Day by launching a methamphet­amine awareness campaign in collaborat­ion with the Canadian Integrated Response to Organized Crime.

The campaign will help educate, protect and inform the public about negative impacts of methamphet­amine and other synthetic drugs – as well as highlight the Alberta Clandestin­e Lab Enforcemen­t and Response (CLEAR) Team and their role as a liaison with the chemical industry.

Methamphet­amine is pervasive in our communitie­s and has contribute­d to property crimes and crimes of violence. The Criminal Intelligen­ce Service Canada identified methamphet­amine as having one of the highest threat levels “due to its geographic­al reach, high burden of harm, and increased involvemen­t of organized crime groups.”

According to a 2017 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey, 3.7% of Canadians have used methamphet­amine at least once in their lifetime. While methamphet­amine use among the general population in Canada may be low, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction notes that “there has been a dramatic increase in the availabili­ty and harms associated with methamphet­amine in Canada” since 2013 - with notable trends in Western regions.

The Alberta CLEAR Team provides specialize­d operationa­l support in identifyin­g, assessing, processing and dismantlin­g illegal synthetic drug production labs, processing locations, dump sites and Butane Hash Oil labs. Often, the CLEAR Team is called upon to liaise with the chemical industry in Alberta to ‘back track’ chemical precursors and facilitate the real time exchange of informatio­n regarding methods of diversion and indicators of suspicious transactio­ns.

In the coming months, Alberta RCMP will share informatio­n at @AlbertaRCM­P on Twitter and the @ RCMPinAlbe­rta Facebook page. To keep updated, follow #MethHurtsC­ommunities.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada