Four Counties Addiction
Police stats also show drug
charges on the rise
Out-patient addiction services needs are
soaring in Peterborough.
In the meantime, drug-related charges are escalating, according to statistics
from Peterborough City Police.
Peterborough's Four Counties Addiction Services Team (FourCAST) shows
huge caseload increases across the board, stretched over all four counties
under its umbrella.
The rising statistics on drug charges as compiled by Peterborough City
Police are also cause for concern.
In 1998 there were 80 drug charges laid, with 131 charges laid in 1991,
137 in 2000, 139 in 2001 and 79 between January and July of 2002.
As for FourCAST, they had 509 admissions in 1999, 580 in 2000, 615 in
2001 and a staggering 841 in 2002.
"This is a huge increase" across Peterborough County, the City
of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Northumberland County, according
to Donna Rogers, executive director of FourCAST.
"There is clearly an increase in the number of people presenting
for services," she says.
The FourCAST annual report states that the group has "recorded its
most significant increase in service demand in the organization's history
during the past year, with a 69 per cent increase in intakes and a 51
per cent increase in admissions. (Intakes represent contacts made by clients
for the purpose of scheduling an initial session. Admission data represents
all those who actually attend for a first appointment.)
Throughout the four counties there were also a 78 per cent increase noted
in youth admissions with the most significant increase of 69 per cent
occurring in Peterborough County.
When asked if FourCAST is a prevention-oriented organization for drugs
and, concomitantly, violent crime, Rogers says the truth is somewhere
"It's tough to say. Clearly, much of the violence is linked to alcohol
and drug use. Whether or not, when someone stops, does this reduce the
violence - well, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't," she
"There is a big void in the province in terms of prevention work.
We all take a shot at it (prevention) but we do primary treatment, mainly,"
"If, as an example, a parent has a substance-abuse problem and they
succeed in our program, then that should have a positive effect within
that family," Rogers says.
Rogers also points out that FourCAST doesn't work only for abstinence,
in some cases, but also harm reduction.
She says it is also important not to immediately draw the conclusion that
drug usage (as opposed to treatment for drugs) is up as dramatically,
though, because her organization's caseloads may be the result of a number
of different factors.
She said people who have been doing drugs for some time may only be recently
stepping forward, for instance, with the increased number of public awareness
campaigns in the Province and community.
"That can help push these numbers up," she says.
A further breakdown and consideration of these numbers, according to Rogers,
are the social policy changes that have occurred over the years, particularly
in moving from care that is institutionally-based to care that is more
community services-oriented. So a person who used to access care through
the hospital, for instance, is now more frequently accessing care through
services such as FourCAST.
In addition to out-patient addictions services treatment for alcohol,
drugs and problem-gambling, the group also works with family members.
FourCAST is also increasingly working with people who have a concurrent
disorder. This term refers to those people who have a mental illness in
addition to a substance misuse or addiction problems.
From a police-services perspective, the urge for substance abusers to
get drug money is strong enough to fuel violent crime, even in communities
such as Peterborough. In fact, says Chief McLaren, committing robberies
and break and enters to obtain drugs, in his estimation, would represent
about 80 per cent of the total number of break and enters robberies.
In the last five years, only two heroin charges have been laid but cocaine
usage is more prevalent. For cocaine usage, there were five charges laid
in 1998, six in 1999, 16 in 2000, 16 in 2001 and nine already in 2002,
up until July. Cannabis charges number over a hundred in the last few
"During these incidents" of break and enters and robberies,
said the 31-year police veteran, "these numbers can lead to incidences
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