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The following is from The National Post March 20, 2000
The Canadian Press


No longer just for junkies: Crack becomes drug of choice among Edmonton teens

   Once considered a drug reserved for junkies and drug houses, crack cocaine use in Edmonton high schools is reaching epidemic proportions, says a substance abuse expert. "You would be hard pressed to find an Edmonton high school right now where crack wasn't being used every day," said Dr. Louis Pagliaro, associate director of the University of Alberta's substance abuse research unit. Dr. Pagliano has been tracking drug trends for more than 30 years and was RCMP's key expert witness during a landmark crack trial in Alberta in 1995.
   The drug, normally smoked in a pipe, is highly addictive, with one in 10 users becoming addicted after their first use, he said.
   George Nicholson, chairman of the Edmonton Public School Board, said it is possible the problem is as bad as Dr. Pagliano says. Mr. Nicholson is planning to ask for a report into crack use in schools in response to the doctors claims.
   "When I was principal seven years ago we knew of pot and hash being smoked at school - but crack, that's not a progression we want to see," he said. "I hope Dr. Pagliano is not right, but he may indeed be."
   Staff Sergeant Doug Carruthers, with the Edmonton police drug unit, said the jump in crack use is not restricted to Edmontons high schools. "Ten years ago we didn't have crack on the streets. You rarely saw it. Now what we've got is use of other drugs dwindling and crack use is soaring," Sgt. Carruthers said. "People are buying cocaine just to turn it into crack."
   Although the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission doesn't differentiate between crack and cocaine use, figures show the number of Alberta cocaine addicts has almost doubled in the past four years. It jumped to 4,087 last year from 2,219 in 1996.
   Keith Hughes, a consultant for the commission's cocaine addiction clinic in Grande Prarie, Alta., said there are dozens more addicts who are not treated. "Maybe they aren't at the end of their rope yet or won't admit the problem," Mr. Hughes said, "but there's no doubt we're seeing an increase in coke addiction."

Article concerning 'Crack' by Leo Knight

Article concerning Canada and Lax Laws from The National Post

An Edmonton Story

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Resources If you would like to get more information on marijuana and other drug use, you might want to contact the following organizations:

Visit the Parenting IS Prevention Project site to learn more about how important parents are in setting their children on a drug-free path.

National Drug Information Center of National Families in Action
2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30345-2739
Marijuana Anonymous
P.O. Box 2912Van Nuys, CA 91404
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol andDrug Information (NCADI)
P.O. Box 2345Rockville, MD 20847-2345
National Council on Alcoholism and DrugDependence, Inc. (NCADD)
12 West 21st, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010
National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street N.W., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20006-3817
"Just Say No" International
2000 Franklin Street, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94612
National Family Partnership
9320 SW Barbur Boulevard, Suite 340Portland, OR 97219
National PTA Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Project
330 North Wabash Ave., Suite 2100Chicago, IL 60611-3690
National Head Start Association
1651 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Partnership for a Drug Free America
Drug Free Resource Net is the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's web site that includes a large drug information database, prevention strategies for parents, and more.

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