Crystal meth addictions have become a prevalent issue across Saskatchewan, and we've witnessed it here in Moose Jaw.

This week is Addictions Awareness Week across the province.

Throughout the year, the Moose Jaw Crystal Meth Strategy Committee (MJCMSC) has worked hard with the 'Spread The Word' campaign by releasing videos, interviews, and presentations to inform the public about the dangers of crystal meth.

"The goal really is to prevent individuals from using in the first place because crystal meth is a very potent, dangerous drug. So, if people try it for the first time, sometimes they get addicted and it is one of the most difficult drugs to get off," says Mary Lee Booth of the MJCMSC.

The strategy has brought forward many viewpoints on the topic of drug use.

"One thing that we are communicating to people is that crystal meth does not discriminate. So you can be of any age, gender or economic status," says Booth.

Booth says there are tons of addiction cases that she's seen where it's someone's mother or friend who would seemingly be an average person.

The committee's message doesn't stop there. Another goal was to break the stigma that surrounds people that do drugs.

Substance abuse is quite common as every one out of 10 people experience substance abuse today. Eight out of 10 Canadians with a substance use disorder say they've experienced barriers to recovery and stigma is one of those barriers.

Along with that message came the education of what crystal meth physically does to someone's body and brain.

"Crystal meth substance abuse disorder is a brain disorder, and crystal meth really does change the brain and it makes people think differently and do things differently than they normally wouldn't do," says Booth.

The committee is coming to the end of the 'Spread The Word' campaign and to end the year off, the MJCMSC held an in-person presentation at the Moose Jaw Library on Monday night to further educate the community on the dangers and effects of using crystal meth.

The committee has also been going around to schools sharing presentations and information on how to avoid using the drug, the dangers of how crystal meth can affect a person's brain chemistry and behaviour, and how easily addictive the drug is. They started an initiative for teachers to do in classrooms called the Pledge Card activity which had students write down their thoughts on why understanding addiction is important. The Psych 20 class from Peacock Collegiate participated in this activity and you can read some of their answers in the pictures below.

By visiting the MJCMSC website or Facebook page, people can find presentations with information on the stigma and effects of drug use, how people can spread the word themselves, and how parents can talk to their children about drug use and addiction. They also have a video called Stop Mething Around about front-line stories in the crystal meth crisis.

This Wednesday night, the MJCMSC is releasing a brand new educational video called Stop Mething Around: A Family Affair, which has a focus on the effects a family goes through when a loved one becomes addicted. There's a public viewing of the video at 7 pm tonight at the Moose Jaw Library. The video will then be available on Youtube.

 

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