TEENAGE GIRLS CAUGHT TRAFFICKING
Two teenage girls face drug-trafficking charges for selling ecstasy to other Bracebridge youth at private homes, on the street and at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School.
Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police officers arrested the two girls, aged 14 and 16, last week following an investigation that started in late March. According to OPP reports, the 16-year-old had been selling the drug to at least six other students aged 14 and 15 and one 19-year-old man between January and March, with some sales as far back as September. The drug deals took place in private homes, at a Bracebridge plaza, on Bracebridge streets and at BMLSS, according to reports.
The 14-year-old girl sold ecstasy pills to two 15-year-old girls on two separate occasions at the plaza, police said.
"I think it's very concerning because the girls are so young, but the reality is the drug is marketed to young people," said OPP Constable Ted Smith. "It's designed as a pretty pill with logos on it that are trendy. It's called a good-time drug, but it's destroying lives."
The 16-year-old faces seven charges of trafficking ecstasy. The 14-year-old faces two charges. Both are scheduled to appear in Bracebridge young offenders court June 1.
Smith said while the arrests are the first major ecstasy case involving teens in the area, ecstasy use continues to rise.
"Is it a blip?" Smith said. "No. There's a concern and parents should talk to their kids about this drug. The kids [using ecstasy] are skipping school, not doing anything with their lives."
School staff assisted police in the investigation. BMLSS principal David Golden said the arrests do not mean ecstasy is being found in the school all the time.
"It does sadden me," he said. "Fourteen and 15 is very young."
During recent drug education classes OPP officers held for grade nine and 10 students in Gravenhurst and Bracebridge, about one-third of students said they know someone who has taken ecstasy, Smith said.
At about $XXXXXXXX for each brightly coloured, decorated pill the drug is marketed to young users. Ecstasy, also known as 'E,' 'Adam' and 'the love drug,' is a stimulant and hallucinogen illegally produced in clandestine labs with no standard of quality.
"Users do not know what they are really taking or how it will affect them," Smith said. "What is sold as ecstasy often contains unknown drugs or fillers such as the highly addictive and dangerous drug methamphetamine."
Even low doses of ecstasy can cause teeth grinding, high blood pressure, panic attacks, nausea, vomiting and convulsions. After use, users can experience paranoia, depression, memory loss and problems sleeping. The drug can also lead to kidney or heart failure, strokes, seizures, liver damage and permanent brain damage.
According to a 2005 Ontario Drug Use survey, more than 8 per cent of grade 12 students in Ontario reported trying ecstasy.
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