Methamphetamine use increasing on P.E.I.

The use of methamphetamine pills has increased on P.E.I. says a police officer with RCMP drug unit.

'To me, methamphetamines and violence go hand in hand'

Methamphetamine is becoming a big problem on P.E.I. says Cpl. Andy Cook. (Saskatoon Police Service)

The use of methamphetamine pills has increased on P.E.I. says a police officer with the RCMP drug unit.

Cpl. Andy Cook said the biggest problem is speed pills, as they are known on the street.

"It's a small white pill that is round with different stamps on them or they can be rectangular and a lot of the rectangular ones that we see have 'ice' stamped on them."

Cook said there has been a spike in the number of pills being seized and added more pills have been seized this year to date than in all of 2015.

Cheaper to make than buy

What is now becoming a concern said Cook is people are beginning to manufacture methamphetamine pills in clandestine labs on the Island.

"When you see people produce a drug like that, they've figured out it's cheaper to produce the drug locally out of easily obtained ingredients."

Cpl. Andy Cook says there have been more seizures of methamphetamine pills on P.E.I. so far this year to date than in all of 2015. (CBC)
Cook said the ingredients and tools needed can be bought at local hardware stores and drug stores.

"They've figured out it's a lot easier to do that then pay the five to $10 a pill."

Cook said he has been involved with work to get drugs off the streets in four provinces since 1996 and in his opinion, methamphetamines is the most dangerous drug on the streets right now.

"All told, fentanyl in and of itself is dangerous for overdose purposes, but methamphetamine tends to make people erratic, violent, paranoid, we have a lot of issues with that. You don't sleep for sometimes up to 15 days. To me, methamphetamines and violence go hand-in-hand."

Increasing violence

Cook added police are seeing the violence associated with methamphetamine use in parts of P.E.I.

RCMP and police departments across the Island are working together to stop methamphetamine use from growing.

"Nobody wants to see that come in here. There are people here like me who've seen it elsewhere and it tends to lead to a lot of side issues. It's very hard to treat as far as addictions go."

Cook said police are going into schools and telling students horror stories about what can happen if you take the wrong thing.

"When you get that pill, you have no idea what's in it. You can't tell what you're taking by looking."

With files from Patrick Faller