Abbotsford Police launch series about ecstasy and other street drugs

This is the first poster in a series from the Abbotsford Police Department about the dangers of street drugs. - Abbotsford Police Department
This is the first poster in a series from the Abbotsford Police Department about the dangers of street drugs.
— image credit: Abbotsford Police Department

Three families who have been impacted by the use of ecstasy are working with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) in an awareness and education program about the dangers of street drugs.

Const. Ian MacDonald said representatives from each of the families have given their support to the initiative, called Operation X, and will work with police in the creation of a video and school presentations.

"They are tied to the community and have a vested interest in helping others ... We're talking about families committed to help other youth," MacDonald said.

The families are related to Tyler Miller and Cheryl McCormack, who both died from ecstasy late last year at the ages of 20 and 17 respectively, and a 24-year-old woman who was in critical condition, but is now recovering, after ingesting ecstasy on New Year's Eve.

The APD announced today (Monday) that Operation X will include a series of posters to be distributed in high schools and other locations such as recreation centres and on bus stop benches.

The first poster responds to the misconception that ecstasy is safe and doesn't contain harmful ingredients. It depicts a bag of ecstasy, which looks like candy, with a nutrition label listing the ingredients and a warning.

In addition to the poster series, which will continue until the end of the school year, Police Chief Bob Rich composed a letter to all parents and students in the Abbotsford school district. The letter was emailed in English and Punjabi.

The letter addresses the recent ecstasy deaths and urges parents to educate themselves and have a meaningful discussion with their kids about drugs.

"The Abbotsford Police Department is committed to doing everything it can to help keep all the young people in our community safe," it stated.

Another component of Operation X is promoting the Youth Line, which was initiated in 2009 as part of the APD's anti-gang initiatives. The line can be reached at 604-864-4787.

MacDonald said teens and parents are encouraged to use the line for advice or to talk about drug and gang issues.

He said other portions of Operation X are still in development. It is hoped that the video will be ready before grad ceremonies this year, while school presentations will likely begin in September.

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