Paul Band Nation works to combat drug issues

Two months after two teenage girls overdosed on ecstasy on anEdmonton-area reserve, problems with drugs on the Paul Band Nationreserve continue despite best efforts of residents.

Two months after two teenage girls overdosed on ecstasy on an Edmonton-area reserve, problems with drugs on the Paul Band Nation reserve continue despite best efforts of residents.

Trinity Bird, 15, and Leah House, 14, both died from fatal doses of ecstasy, which they swallowed before a wedding.

Ruby Bird, principal at Paul Band First Nation K-9 School, says while the community rallied behind the eradication of drug use on the reserve at first, efforts have waned over the last couple months.

“It was sobering at first and band administration really jumped in and said we have to do more and at the school. We said the same thing,” Bird said. “Now it’s kind of faded and, of course, the police try and do their drug busts, but I don’t think it’s very successful.”

She said that crack cocaine and crystal meth are still prevalent on the reserve, and have become bigger problems than alcoholism. She feels the issue needs critical attention.

“Drugs and liquor will always be a big factor in life on a reserve and in some way everyone is tied into it,” she said.

Bird said while she wouldn’t have been shocked if a frequent drug user on the reserve fell victim to the same fate, nobody ever imagined the girls would come to a drug-fueled end.

“It was a long time in coming and everyone could see it coming but not to (the girls),” Bird said.

 
 
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