'Crystal meth does not discriminate': inaugural meth awareness walk held in Regina
A walk held in Regina on Tuesday aimed at starting a discussion about the dangers of crystal meth use. The event was hosted by the Yorkton Tribal Council. It was the first ever annual walk held in the queen city.
"Crystal meth does not discriminate, it's everywhere, it's in the cities, it's in the rural,” Director of Prevention Services with Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services Rae Shingoose said.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray says 90 percent of the clients the Yorkton Tribal Council deals with have been affected by meth addiction in some way.
"Unfortunately, there were too many people that were here today holding a sign saying I’m walking for my mother or my father or my brother, who are no longer with us. And it's directly attributed to meth. So, we need to do something about this." Regina Police Services Chief Evan Bray said.
Bray says meth is the number one issue that is driving crime in Regina.
"I can guarantee you, even if we make some positive strides in dealing with the meth problem, a year from now, it's still going to be an issue. So, we can't forget, we can't let our foot up off the gas pedal,” Bray said.
A couple addicts in recovery spoke to the crowd following the walk and shared their stories and what they've gone through.
"Even now like how long I’ve been clean and sober. There are still days where something doesn't go my way or something happens and it still is a thought in the back of my mind. I know that I never will use, or I never will. I'm at that point where I won't, but it still always is a thought that's there,” addict in recovery and mentor Tiffany Newby said.
Newby started smoking crystal meth when she was 15 or 16 years old and did it for five years and has been sober for 13 years since. Newby says for the first year she was sober, she was depressed and didn't feel like herself. Now, she is a mentor for the Yorkton Tribal Council.
"Just bring more awareness because it is taking over, it's not getting any better, it’s getting worse." Newby said.
Bray added that he liked the fact the walk was specifically meth based because it encouraged people to talk about the issue that's often too sensitive for people to talk about.
Organizers hope the event grows next year.