Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit February 17, 2017 - 8:29 am

RCMP in Nunavut’s capital sound “bad drug” alarm

"Consuming even small amounts of an unknown street drug could be sufficient to cause death"

Among the synthetic drugs are
Among the synthetic drugs are "bath salts," which look tame, but can produce many deadly side-effects. (PHOTO FROM THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE)

Iqaluit police say they’re concerned about “bad drugs” on the streets of Nunavut’s capital city, substances that could endanger the lives of users—and lead to more conflict with police.

“We believe at this time that there are possibly ‘bad drugs’; or illegal controlled substances being distributed and consumed by people in Iqaluit and that these incidents may be the result of use of these drugs,” the RCMP said in a Feb. 15 release.

Some of those “bad drugs,” not listed by in the RCMP release, would likely include drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine—which have all been in Iqaluit for years.

And, over the last week, the Iqaluit RCMP apparently responded to several complaints where those involved have appeared to be under the influence of hard synthetic drugs.

These synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy and methamphetamine, are created using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients.

Crystal methamphetamine, for example, is made from the pseudoephedrine found in over-the-counter cold medicines, combined with a nasty brew of household chemicals found in everyday items such as solvents, matches, drain cleaner and brake fluid. The drug can come as a white powder or white or brown crystals and can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed.

Meth users experience feelings of confidence and joy while on the drug, as well as irritability and aggression, especially when coming down. The high lasts up to 16 hours, and feeds a cycle of binging during which time addicts are interested in only one thing: doing more meth.

And there’s also a kind of synthetic marijuana (Spice or K2) and synthetic stimulants such as bath salts, which produce highs similar to those under cocaine or meth.

Bath salts are sold as crystalline powder in a small bag with nice names like Ivory Wave, Blow, Red Dove or Vanilla Sky. But their users can suffer severe paranoia, violent behaviour, hallucinations, chest pain, seizures, decreased need for sleep and a lack of appetite. And bath-salt users have also reported seeing demons, monsters, foreign soldiers or aliens, according to various websites.

In Iqaluit, the RCMP has noted more physical violence when its officers are dealing with people under the influence of drugs.

“This has led to charges for assaulting a police officer,” the RCMP said.

“While these complaints are being investigated, the RCMP wants to warn the public of the dangers of illegal drug use and to warn that when taking non-prescription drugs, there is a significant risk to your health. In some cases, consuming even small amounts of an unknown street drug could be sufficient to cause death.”

If you have any information about drugs or any other information that may help the police, the Iqaluit RCMP is urging you to call 867-979-0123 or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477) (TIPS).

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