Concern on Drug Use Among Filipinos in Alberta’s Bow Valley

Concerns were raised in Alberta’s Bow Valley that some members of the Filipino community are using crystal meth, otherwise known as shabu, to help them work longer hours.

“Often times, from the discussions, they were working anywhere from 14, 16 and 18 hour days in two or three jobs,” according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. Eneas.

It was learned that some employees were working from 14 to 18 hour days in two or three jobs.

“A few clients had reported knowledge of this being used, that it went by a different word than what we’ve heard before, and that they’re facing different kinds of barriers in seeking help and support,” said Meagan Stewart, coordinator of the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership.

Sgt. Eneas admits that the police haven’t had a lot of information about the situation.

“But other service groups are hearing discussions about it … talking about specific shabu abuses,” the law enforcer said.

Shabu use isn’t common but it’s important to get ahead of the issue before it grows, said Heather Bates with Community Connections, a group that welcomes newcomers to the Bow Valley. Bates has attended both meetings about shabu.

“Our conversation has essentially been about what we as a collective community can do to support all community members,” she said.

Filipino Ericson Dixon, who moved to Canada three and a half years ago claims he is clueless and has not heard about anyone using it.

“If you’re somebody who is a professional and the only reason you’re going to take it is to catch up, you’re not actually helping yourself. You’re actually trying to destroy yourself,” Dixon, who works as a hotel housekeeper, said.