Winnipeg's 1st Crystal Meth Anonymous group launches to support those battling addiction
'So far there's been a lot of enthusiasm in person and online,' organizer says
In response to the city's growing methamphetamine problem, a handful of Winnipeggers in recovery have established a new support group — Crystal Meth Anonymous Manitoba.
Earlier this week, CBC News reported the drug is "flooding the market." Seizures of the drug have climbed by more than 1,000 per cent in the past five years, while the number of people seeking treatment for meth use has increased by six times over the same period.
The group — the first of its kind in the province — is modelled on the international 12-step fellowship program Alcoholics Anonymous. It aims to provide a safe, anonymous setting where addicts can gather and support each other at all stages of recovery.
"So far there's been a lot of enthusiasm in person and online," said Rob, one of the group's organizers. In keeping with the group's philosophy of anonymity, CBC has agreed not to reveal his full name.
"I am excited that there are lots of us who have come out the other side who are pulling together to be there for others who are trying to get their lives back."
Rob said he recognized the need for a fellowship in Winnipeg when he fell into his addiction a decade ago.
Dozens express interest
"The first thing that I Googled when my struggle with meth began was actually 'Crystal Meth Anonymous,'" he said.
"I happened to live in a place in the United States where there were tons of meetings every day ... and when I moved back to Canada I didn't find the same thing."
Chapters have since popped up in other Canadian cities, such Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Rob said it's time there was a space in Manitoba for people who struggle with the same drug abuse to connect.
"Forty or 50 people have expressed interest," he said. "I don't know what the attendance will be like in the first meeting ... but perhaps we'll get to a point where there is one every day."
The first meeting will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church in St. Vital.
- An earlier version of this story said the first meeting of Crystal Meth Anonymous Manitoba will be held on Nov. 3. In fact, it will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4.Oct 25, 2017 1:39 PM CT