Drug problems growing in Red Deer
Red Deer police, drug counsellors, and addicts all agree - big city drug problems have come to their community.
"We are a small town at heart," says RCMP Const. Ralph Cervi, "but we've got big city problems."
Cervi says Red Deer's economy is booming and that growth is contributing to a transient population and an increase in drug use.
"You name the drug," says 18-year-old resident Jason Brubaker,"you can get it."
He says at parties people are doing all kinds of illegal substances including ecstacy, cocaine, and marijuana.
Cervi says Red Deer needs more RCMP officers to help fight the problem. He says the city is around the same size of Lethbridge, but the RCMP force in that community has at least 30 more officers.
Steve Bazon runs a youth centre for drug addicts. He says drug use in Red Deer compares to use in American cities such as Washington and Texas.
"The burn out (among police) is significant," he says.