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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 12 THE LEtHBSIDCE HERALD WeJneidoy, Jnnunry 5, 1972 Drug-crisis centre closes doors EDMONTON the city's drug-crisis centre, closed its doors permanently last weekend because, said its organizers, "it was BO longer relevant to the present drug scene." "Essentially we were only babysitting kids on drugs and that's not the said Da- vid Gladders, Hie former co-or- dinator of the eight-man staff. "It didn't do anything to real- ly help the teds and it was only a band-aid approach to the so- cial problem." The staff themselves decided the centre should close Sunday, and although almost all of them now are out of work and haven't yet found any other jobs, they stuck by their deci- sion. "It was just too costly for what we were doing at the said Gladders. The budget for the last year was about the same as when TRUST opened as a voluntary organiza- tion two years ago, then sup- ported by the provincial gov- ernment for the last 18 months it served a most essential service in helping young people who were having bad reactions to drugs, he said. "But kids now are not inlo drugs the same way they were two or three years ago." It's not that there are less drags being taken, but young people are more knowledge- able about how the drugs af- fect them and there are fewer "bad trips." One of the reasons is that a lot of the drugs being sold in this area as LSD really aren't that, he said. TRUST analysed some of the drugs sold this summer, which were supposed to be a type of LSD. However, of the samples they studied, one contained an amphetamine commonly sold by prescription, another con- tained a barbituate and a third contained a mixture of barbi- tuate, aspirin and caffeine. None of them were in fact they could have some violent side effects, he said. But they didn't need the kind of services that drug crisis cen- tres were prepared to offer- where t> staff help "talk down" those who need help. Mr. Gladders said so far the city or the provincial govern- ment have made no decisions about what will be done with the TRUST facility, a re- furbished house. Mr. Gladders would like to sec a definite policy for social planning right across Canada look at what the quality of life should really be, rather than just crisis centres estab- lished to take care of things that go wrong. "Along with economic devel- opment, there should be social development and it should be planned development." He believes drugs are just one part of the whole social problem and that the whole quality of life should be looked at. Robert Watson, a field work- er with the Alcohol Drug edu- cation Association of Alberta in Edmonton, said the closure of TRUST has cut down on their way of getting street informa- tion on what ts going on. But ho supports TRUST'S decision to close. His group may have to take up some of the information dis- tribution about drugs that for- mally was done by TRUST, however. "TRUST was more popular as speakers to students in he said, "it didn't take the positive "anti" stand that we take." He said there is a trend to- ward "community growth cen- tres' and he hopes these will be set up here. Drug crisis centres are changing into total crisis cen- tres, where professional re- source persons are available to help any individuals in crisis, he said. These can be al- cohol problems, emotional problems, kids with family problems and so on. 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