Drugs and crime in province 'definitely connected'

Courts in Newfoundland and Labrador have seen a string of high profile cases involving drugs. Recent statistics show that more than a third of the people who enter prisons in the province have some sort of addiction issues.

Courts in Newfoundland and Labrador have seen a string of high profile cases — many of them involving drugs.

For those working on the frontlines of recovery support services, the link is not something new.

"[They're] definitely connected," said Cindy Murphy, executive director of the John Howard Society. 

Murphy said about two-thirds of people who enter prisons in the province are battling some sort of an addiction.

Cindy Murphy says the province's booming economy is playing a role in the increase of drug-related crime.
“When we hear in the news [about] the rash of armed robberies, very often, we can attribute those to substance abuse. And that people are desperately seeking drugs or money to support their habit," said Murphy. 

Murphy points to the province's booming economy as one of the reasons behind the increase in criminal cases involving hard drugs.

"[It's] playing a part in the amount of drugs that are available, and the amount of money that people have to be able to buy drugs," she said.

And while there are services in the province to assist those struggling with addiction, Murphy said some programs can be hard to access.

"Residential treatment is extremely difficult to get into. And for people who have addictions, and are seeking treatment, they don't wait list well. Often their life is in crisis," she said.

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