Pubdate: Wed, 02 May 2007
Source: Quesnel Cariboo Observer (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Quesnel Cariboo Observer
Author: Michael Muirhead
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Hallucinogens)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Re: New epidemic strikes young teens, Feedback, the Observer, April 29.

In her column, Khela Harshan asks "Why is this problem becoming more 
and more prevalent amongst teens?

It isn't. The times may have changed, but the prevalence of drug use 
has only become more known... it hasn't become any greater.

Drug use was very common when I was 13 years old, and that was 34 years ago.

About one-third of the people with whom I went to high school had 
used marijuana at least once by the end of Grade 8, and by the time 
they graduated, more than a quarter were regular (even frequent) 
users, although many gave it up as the grew older. (If your parents 
are average Canadians, more than one of every 10 people they work and 
socialize with is a regular marijuana smoker. Can you tell which ones 
they are?)

Methamphetamine (known locally back then as "speed") was common and 
easy to find, though just like today, it was actually only a very 
small handful of people that young who used it. LSD was everywhere, 
and while MDMA (ecstacy) didn't yet exist in the commercial market 
back then, its close-cousin MDA certainly did, and it was easily available.

Don't listen to fear-mongering opinions disguising themselves 
(sometimes not very cleverly) as truth. Get the real numbers and get 
to know them. Reliable drug-use statistics from most of the western 
world will tell you a more general and global version of everything 
I've just said.

Michael Muirhead

Queen Charlotte, B.C.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman