Drug issue takes centre stage

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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PARRSBORO The severity of the local drug problem remains a subject of debate, but at least one group of parents is convinced that illegal drugs are rampant in this small town.

Parents and community members were given a drug awareness presentation by representatives from the RCMP and Addictions Services in a public meeting at Fundy Geological Museum Tuesday night, following several sessions given earlier that day to students at Parrsboro Regional High School.

The crowd in attendance at the museum was small, but many of those who were there complained of hard drugs such as cocaine and crystal meth being sold in Parrsboro, and pleaded with the police for answers.

There are hard drugs in this town, said one parent, referring to methamphetamine. Another spoke of visiting relatives who walked down Main Street last summer and found it in a heartbeat.

Drug issue takes centre stage

PARRSBORO The severity of the local drug problem remains a subject of debate, but at least one group of parents is convinced that illegal drugs are rampant in this small town.

Parents and community members were given a drug awareness presentation by representatives from the RCMP and Addictions Services in a public meeting at Fundy Geological Museum Tuesday night, following several sessions given earlier that day to students at Parrsboro Regional High School.

The crowd in attendance at the museum was small, but many of those who were there complained of hard drugs such as cocaine and crystal meth being sold in Parrsboro, and pleaded with the police for answers.

There are hard drugs in this town, said one parent, referring to methamphetamine. Another spoke of visiting relatives who walked down Main Street last summer and found it in a heartbeat.

But Sgt. Peter Keirstead, who heads up drugs and organized crime awareness for the RCMP in Nova Scotia, seemed to cast doubt on these reports when he pointed out that there has never been a crystal meth seizure in the province. One parent assured him otherwise.

Im not saying the RCMP arent doing their job, but we know drugs exist in this town, said the parent, who explained that he learned the information from his tearful child at a detox facility. If youre of the understanding that it doesnt exist in this town, then were just telling you different, thats all. Its here.

Keirsteads presentation featured information about different types of drugs, statistics, and stories of his own experiences as a 31-year member of the force, 14 of them in the drug section. He was followed by James Shedden of Addiction Services, who focused on the different types of addictions, risk factors, protective factors and resiliency methods.

Local RCMP Cpl. John James acknowledged that there are illegal drugs being sold and used in Parrsboro, but that police need good information and credible evidence before they can make arrests or perform searches.

Both he and Const. Jeff Davidson encouraged anyone with any information about the activity to bring it forward to them.

Local youth are turning to drugs to escape from reality and fight boredom because of a lack of activities outside of school, according to Shedden, who shared some interesting statistics about drug use. Among 19 to 29-year-olds in Canada, 90 per cent use alcohol, 42 per cent use marijuana and 22 per cent use tobacco, while two to three per cent use other drugs.

awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: RCMP, Fundy Geological Museum, Parrsboro Regional High School Addiction Services

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Nova Scotia, Canada

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