Canada’s drug crisis is affecting a largely unchecked population of users — newcomers – CBC

Experts call for better data collection, culturally-sensitive care

Feb 25, 2024

Within 17 days of arriving in Canada, Ali was introduced to methamphetamine.

“I was lonely and was thinking of suicide,” said the international student from Turkey.

Ali said he has been using crystal meth on and off since he moved to Saskatoon in 2022. Now, the 23-year-old is working toward recovery but said mental health services in his language and culturally-specific health care are lacking.

Raza, a Syrian refugee who also lives in Saskatoon, has had a similar experience. The 32-year-old works odd jobs to send money to his family overseas.

“It’s difficult to find work here. I don’t speak much English and don’t know many people,” he said.

Wahda — the Arabic word for social isolation — is a “constant curse.”

“Crystal is a good way to forget those problems,” he said.

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