No one's safe from impacts of meth addiction

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Parents in sleepy South Delta are wrong to think their children couldn't fall victim to grip of destructive drug

The Delta police department recently held two community meth forums, one in North Delta and the other in South Delta.

It was exciting to be part of the planning committee for such a worthwhile project and I think the forums went off without a hitch. The venues were packed, the speakers were dynamic and informative and the feedback we received was very positive.

I also really enjoyed the presentations and took away with me the following: Methamphetamine can have an impact on my life, no matter who I am, where I live, what I do to earn a paycheque and whether or not I use it myself.

Here's how it can invade the "average" person's life:

Meth addiction can affect any person or any family at any time. I, like a lot of you, had the misconception that meth was a drug of choice for criminals and those that live in the skids of downtown Vancouver simply because it's relatively cheap, easy to obtain and the high is said to last a long time. I also thought it was being used by the occasional rebellious teen at a rave or all-night party.

The graphic and heart-wrenching presentation given by the father of two young adults who had become addicted to meth in their late teens clearly showed I was being naive with the perception I had of the average meth user.

This father's two eldest children had become addicted to meth in their late teens. They came from a good family, whatever that's supposed to mean nowadays. What I mean is they came from an obviously caring family.

They also had every opportunity and grew up in the Tsawwassen area, so for all of you shaking your heads, thinking there is some piece of the puzzle missing from this story and that this couldn't happen to your kids, you're wrong.

Take a good hard look at your teen's actions and at who their friends are. Ask for help or advice if you think you need it. You can reach me directly through the contact information below if you have some questions or are worried that your children may be using meth and don't know where else to turn for answers.

The second revelation I had was this: Whether or not meth use occurs in your family, it can still have a catastrophic impact on you or someone you love. Some jerk that's flying higher than a kite on meth while he's cruising around in a stolen car can come crashing into your vehicle, forever altering your life, as you are heading to work one morning.

Your neighbour, who thinks he's a chemist but isn't, can be brewing a toxic cocktail in his house as you read this, a poisonous mixture which could explode at anytime.

If you are lucky and it doesn't, he's most likely draining the enormous amount of waste that is produced by the manufacture of methamphetamine into the environment around your home.

You know that guy that broke into your house and stole your family heirlooms which had once belonged to your great-grandmother? He's also stoned on meth and is going to pawn your cherished items for 20 bucks so he can buy more drugs.

As a police department, we pledge to do our best to keep this horrible drug from invading this community as it has so many others. We are implementing programs for businesses and youth and maintaining a zero tolerance rule at the enforcement level.

We are doing our part, but you need to do yours as well. Report any suspicious houses in your neighbourhood to police and talk to your kids about drugs. Let them know you won't tolerate any drug use or allow them to hang out with friends that are using drugs.

Become informed and stay aware of what's happening in your own home and in your own back yard. Community safety is everyone's responsibility.