First responders, medical professionals and social workers have all been affected by the amount of meth on Saskatoon streets.
A major concern for him is how cheap the drug is on the street and how times have changed.
“If we did a seizure we would actually affect the pricing. Those days are gone. There’s so much meth here now that we have to come up with some other innovative strategies to deal with it,” Const. Matt Ingrouille said.
He was a panel guest on a discussion about crystal meth hosted by the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW) on Friday.
“We did a poll of our membership and one of the biggest proponents we received back was that crystal meth was impacting all areas of their work,” SASW Saskatoon co-chairperson Tammy MacFarlane said.
According to Ingrouille, part of the reason meth is so available is that users generally sell drugs to their friends to pay for their habit.
On a large scale, it helps bring the price down.
He and health experts agree harm reduction is the best way forward for Saskatoon.
“When we’re hearing about price point, it’s not so much that drug use is going to massively increase in the city, but it’s that those who are using drugs may be more at risk,” said Barbara Fornssler, who is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Public Health.
She hopes the opening of the supervised consumption site next year will release some of the pressure felt by people on the front line and will help connect users with services.
The SPS said officers have seen the price of a 10th-of-a-gram of crystal meth sell on the street for as low as three dollars.
Officers said the price has fallen significantly in recent years from being between $10 and $20.
“The pricing dropped within the last three years to that level. And I think that’s probably where we’re going to see it now sustain for a long period of time,” Ingrouille said.
He added that meth is more available now than in any of his previous 12 years a police officer with SPS.