Dozens gather for community meth discussion at the University of Winnipeg

It was a packed crowd at the University of Winnipeg Wednesday as people gathered to talk about what more could be done to tackle the city’s meth crisis.

Two local organizations – Jib Stop and St. Boniface Street Links – brought together other resource groups for a public discussion on crystal meth.

Dane Bourget, founder of the meth peer-support group Jib Stop, said the mission was to bring service providers together.

“The goal was to open up lines of communications within existing organizations. Like I’ve said before, this is a community problem and it’s going to take community solutions. There’s no one organization or resource that’s going to be able to stop this or help everybody,” he said.

“The more we are talking with each other and with organizations, the more people we are going to be able to help.”

There were seven speakers, including Ian Rabb from the Aurora Recovery Centre and the founder of Two Ten Recovery and Destiny House.

“I always say that you can’t shake a family without one of us falling out, any family tree has one of us. Old uncle John drinking too much or me doing meth and not showing up to family events,” he said.

Rabb shared about his own struggle with addiction and his desire to help others shake the shackles of drugs.

“Not one of us grows up at five years old and says, ‘Dad, when I grow up I want to be a meth addict,’ not one of us. We all have aspirations just like every other kid. It doesn’t matter what part of this community you come from, I came from an upper middle class family with two loving parents,” he said.

“I have four university degrees and that didn’t stop me from putting a needle in my arm.”

Rabb said individualized treatment is needed.

“I’ve learned that for methamphetamine, long-term care is needed in a disciplined, accountable, responsible environment that is staffed with resources to help move people carefully through their transition out of addiction.”

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