The use of crystalline methamphetamine is becoming an increasingly concerning issue in Canada. From the escalation of gang violence to the difficulty of treating those under the influence in hospital trauma settings, the effects of this drug are far-reaching. Chief Bray of Regina Police has noted that crystalline methamphetamine has become the dominant problem of gangs and violence, and New Brunswick's RCMP has seized nearly 20 kilograms (approximately 44 pounds) of what is believed to be crystalline methamphetamine in what could be the largest methamphetamine seizure crystalline in the history of the province. In terms of the total Canadian population, the reported level of consumption of crystalline methamphetamine seems relatively small.
However, this does not mean that people are absolved of personal responsibility for their actions. While Canada is concerned about opioid addiction, crystalline methamphetamine is on the rise and threatens to aggravate the country's drug emergency. The organization has also developed learning modules posted on YouTube to educate healthcare and service providers across the country about crystalline methamphetamine and techniques for working with users, such as de-escalation. Urine samples provided by a subgroup of participants were used to determine the validity of the three-day self-reported use of crystalline methamphetamine compared to toxicological urine tests.
At the same time, 48 percent of young people seeking pharmacological treatment for addiction cited crystalline methamphetamine as the main drug they used. Part of the problem in treating methamphetamine addiction is that, unlike opioid replacement therapy, which uses suboxone or methadone to relieve withdrawal symptoms, methamphetamine does not have a pharmaceutical solution to reduce cravings. There is reason for a certain degree of optimism in the fact that progress has been made in mobilizing people and resources to address the social challenge posed by the rise of crystalline methamphetamine. Understanding the changing patterns of substance use will be imperative to adapt harm reduction and substance use services to people who use crystalline methamphetamine.