Calgary's Next Big Drug Problems are Here

W-18 and 3-MF are two of the drugs that resulted in the March overdose of a 35-year-old man from Calgary. These drugs are dangerous on their own, and when used in combination with heroin, as they were in this case, create a potent mixture that can result in serious health problems, addiction, and even death after just a single dose.

With the growing number of problems with heroin and fentanyl, and now W-18, in Alberta, substance abuse and addiction are playing a larger part in interactions between law enforcement officials and Calgary residents. With Alberta's first confirmed fatal overdose from a drug cocktail including W-18, more attention needs to be paid to preventing further deaths through education and treatment for substance abuse.

Jail does nothing to help those suffering from drug addictions. Treatment options are better for drug users and for Calgary community as a whole. The better we understand how these drugs work, the more effectively we can eliminate the stigma surrounding drugs and start getting people the help they deserve.

Calgary's Growing Epidemic of Opiate and Opioid Abuse

The use of prescription painkillers like fentanyl and other opiates/opiods can result in addiction. Street versions of opioid drugs contain things like 3-MF (3-methyl fentanyl), a fentanyl analog that carries a toxicity up to 15 times greater than fentanyl itself. When combined with other drugs, substances like W-18 are created. W-18 is often shipped from China, and marked as 'Not for Human Consumption.'

However, as with any type of addiction, the dangers can fade into the background; a warning label is often not enough to deter those who are addicted.

Now that there has been a confirmed case of death involving W-18, law enforcement professionals are on even higher alert for anyone carrying, using, or selling these opioid-based substances. Using prescription painkillers or their street-imitation counterparts carries a risk of not only medical and addiction problems, but also legal troubles, up to and including criminal drug charges. The Calgary courts are awash in cases of individuals being tried for simple drug possession. The consequences of such charges can be devastating, both in the short term and throughout your life.

Prescription Drugs May also Result in Drug Charges in Calgary

Even painkillers that were legally prescribed to you can result in criminal charges in Calgary, especially if you aren't responsible with the pills. Vicodin, oxycontin, and others are strictly regulated. You can only take them as prescribed as prescribed, and are not allowed to give or sell them to anyone else. Even if you don't get any profit from the transaction, you run the risk of being charged with drug trafficking. Using deception to gain additional medication can result in criminal charges, too. Taking prescription medications and then driving can even result in a charge of impaired driving.

Finding a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

There are many ways to run afoul of Calgary's drug laws. Should you find yourself facing criminal drug charges, it's important that you seek counsel from a lawyer as soon as possible. Susan Karpa has years of experience with Calgary's criminal drug laws and court system. Contact her office today for a free initial consultation.