Health Ministry Comments on Meth Abuse in Moose Jaw
Next week, MJ Independent is going to start running a multi-part narrative series about Crystal Methamphetamine abuse in Moose Jaw called: Meth in Moose Jaw. The narrative series is primarily a street level investigation into the impact meth has had on this city. The research took 14 months and we are now ready to release our findings. It was initially intended for the, now defunct, Moose Jaw Times-Herald, but only an annotated portion of the first chapter was run.
The series has been re-investigated, re-imagined and updated and it will be released in it's entirety.
Asked to comment on our series, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health supplied the following information to MJ Independent on January 11, 2018 as requested.
Information received from the Ministry of Health will not be utilized until the series’ final chapter. But people who need help or are looking for help for loved ones should seek assistance immediately, this is why we have decided to air this Fact Sheet first.
The final paragraph below contains the information on how to seek help.
The Ministry of Health’s comments and fact sheet are below:
HEALTH MINISTRY’S STATEMENT
• Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment into your article regarding crystal methamphetamine. The health and wellbeing of Saskatchewan residents is our priority.
• The Ministry of Health has been monitoring reported crystal meth use throughout the province. While the number of provincial admissions to alcohol and drug treatment services has remained relatively stable, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals who have disclosed crystal meth use in recent years.
• According to data from the former Five Hills Health Region, their admissions to alcohol and drug treatment services over the last five years are as follows:
Year-by-year Admissions for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services
• In Saskatchewan, alcohol and marijuana continue to be most commonly used drugs by those admitted to alcohol and drug treatment. Although crystal meth is not the most commonly used substance, the Ministry of Health is concerned about the rise in the number of people who are experiencing difficulties due to crystal meth. There are many harmful effects of crystal meth, including the increased risk of infectious disease for those who choose to inject this substance. We are also aware that individuals who use crystal meth often experience difficulties in multiple areas of their lives.
• The Ministry is concerned about the use of crystal methamphetamine and are planning with service providers within the Saskatchewan Health Authority on targeted work to be better able to meet the needs of the affected population. The Ministry has recently revised a Crystal Methamphetamine Fact Sheet which includes updated information about crystal meth, the harmful effects related to use as well as how to access services related to Mental Health and Addictions. We would welcome you to include this fact sheet as part of your story.
• Alcohol and drug treatment services are considered provincial resources and are available to every resident in Saskatchewan, regardless of their home community. It’s important for the public to know that services for individuals concerned about their own or a loved one’s problematic substance use, are available across the province. Help is available. We encourage people to call addiction services in their home community as a starting point to getting services for themselves or for loved ones. Individuals within the Moose Jaw area can access mental health and addiction services by contacting 306-691-6464. Information and support is also available 24 hours a day through Healthline by dialing 811, where trained staff are available to provide mental health and addictions crisis support, in a safe and confidential manner.