September 29, 2016 – Public Drug Awareness Presentation
The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) partnership with the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) will be hosting a drug awareness presentation on October 4, 2016 at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, located at 401 1st Street SE, starting at 7:00 pm. This presentation is open to the public to attend free of charge, and will discuss addictions and substance abuse. Speakers from the AARC will speak about their own personal experiences with addiction, treatment and recovery as well as the impact of addictions on the entire family. The MHPS Community Safety Unit will be in attendance with drug awareness information for parents.
The evening presentation will be followed, on October 5, 2016, with presentations to Grade 10, 11 and 12 students at the local high schools, in partnership with Medicine Hat School District 76 and the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education.
Demonstrated by the increase in drug seizures and related offences, the MHPS has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact to the entire community resulting from drug addictions. This includes an increase an in property related offences, violent crime against people, as well as detrimental physical effects and long term health implications for those addicted.
As of August 31st, 2016 the MHPS has seized 1.13kg of methamphetamine off the streets of Medicine Hat, compared to .342 kg in all of 2015. “The increase prevalence of methamphetamine in our community is extremely concerning” says Inspector Brent Secondiak, MHPS Support Services “as it is a powerful stimulant with highly addictive properties, and as a street drug it is exclusively abused as a recreational substance.”
Funding for the presentations is provided the Government of Alberta Proceeds of Crime grant initiative, in partnership with the City of Medicine Hat, and the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta.
Cst Josh Argue
Community Safety Unit
Medicine Hat Police Service
Dr Jackie Smith is the Director of Community Education and Research with the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre. Dr. Smith completed her PhD at the University of Calgary where she explored the impact of addictions on the family. Dr. Smith is an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary and is currently serving on the advisory board of Drug-Free Kids Canada. Dr Smith is a well-known and respected speaker on the subject of addictions and her most notable literature is “Families parenting adolescents with substance abuse – recovering the mother’s voice: a narrative literature review”. Dr. Smith will be explaining the effects and signs of addictions along with strategies to better protect you and your families from substance abuse.
Dr. Smith has assisted numerous adolescents with their journey to sobriety. Through AARC’s program, once a patient becomes sober they can then return to the program as a peer counsellor and assist with public education. Along with Dr. Smith, a graduate of the AARC program, Karl J., will be attending to speak about his personal story including his personal struggle of addiction and the effects on it had on both him and his family.
The Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre was formed in Calgary in 1992, and is a long term family treatment program for youth ages 12-21 who are suffering from substance abuse disorders. They offer many resources and can be a place to turn to when you feel there is no one else and are in need. For more information visit www.aarc.ab.ca, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 403-253-5250.