First Nation declares state of emergency over drug use

// // Posted in Aboriginal Health News, First Nations

on Thompson, QMI Agency

First posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 02:54 PM EST | Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2012 03:00 PM EST

KENORA, Ont. — Cat Lake First Nation in northern Ontario has declared a state of emergency, estimating seven in 10 adults and youth are abusing prescription medication.

Leaders are looking to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Health Canada and the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service for help to bring health and order to a pandemic of oxycodone usage.

“Cat Lake First Nation can no longer deal with the situation of prescription drug abuse alone. This effects all of our community, not only the users,” Chief Matthew Keewaykapow said. “Our elders are impacted when they have to worry about providing for their grandchildren as money for food disappears to purchase drugs. We also have general security concerns as vandalism and thefts have increased across the community.”

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