Crystal meth use is on the rise in Edmonton, say youth workers and Alberta Health Services statistics.

The number of young people treated for crystal meth addiction in Edmonton has jumped 42 per cent in the last three years, AHS statistics reveal.

crystal meth

Crystal meth use is growing in Edmonton due to availability and cheaper prices, say youth workers. (CBC)

"I think there's been a huge influx of young people using meth and not just experimenting with it but really becoming entrenched," said youth worker Mark Cherrington.

Social workers say that's in part because crystal methamphetamine is now more avaiilable and cheaper than ever, comparable to the price of marijuana.

The highly-addictive street drug gives users a long-lasting burst of energy and euphoria, but has many long-term effects such as brain damage and heart failure.

But cracking down on meth dealers and manufacturers won't solve the problem, said Jason Gower, with the Youth Emergency Shelter Society in Old Strathcona.

"We have to look at the bigger picture and really look why people are using all those substances and why that's so popular besides its availability," he said.


With files from CBC's Laura Osman