Kimberley RCMP officials say they are seeing a rise in youth drug use in the community in recent months.
“We are seeing a great increase in young males and females, 14 and 15 years old, using heavy drugs,” said Kimberley RCMP Sgt. Steeve Woodcox. “Heavy drugs are meth, heroin – drugs that will change your life forever.”
Woodcox said some people are getting substances from the Cranbrook area, but there have been sources found in Kimberley as well.
“These are the same kids I go to schools and give talks to, but there are drugs in this community,” said Woodcox. “It’s very disturbing when we see this kind of thing.”
Police have responded to some youth drug poisoning incidents as well.
“We are seeing overdoses with kids this age,” explained Woodcox. “I haven’t seen a lot of that in the last three years, but I have seen a lot in the last three months.”
Woodcox said ease of access could be part of the reason behind the rise in youth drug use.
“I think drugs are more available and there is a new culture of open drug use. That may be contributing,” said Woodcox. “I think access is much easier than it was before.”
In a report to Kimberley city council, RCMP officials said their force will focus on youth outreach.
“Kimberley RCMP will continue to be involved in local schools when they open for another year in September and continue to attend for school talks and be a presence at the schools,” they wrote.