Nunavut Post

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The crack cocaine crisis in Behchokǫ̀ has ‘increased exponentially,’ citizens say

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • Crack cocaine and hard narcotics are driving a ‘mess in the community,’ says Behchokǫ̀ chief.
  • Behchokǫ̀, part of the Tłı̨chǫ area, is the biggest Indigenous community in the Northwest Territories.
  • Its chief and other citizens say they’re witnessing a sharp peak in crack cocaine, devastatingly impacting the community.

A longtime Behchokǫ̀ citizen is speaking out about the “exponential increase” of crack cocaine use in his district, and he’s not alone.

Some people commented similar to CBC News this week, and the government’s statistics seem to verify a trend in that direction. 

“I’ve had enough,” stated Behchokǫ̀ local Curtis Grosco earlier this week on the increasing problem of crack cocaine in the community. 

Grosco says many citizens enable the issue by not reporting people in the community who are dealing the drug. 

“Everyone knows who’s dealing crack, and nobody will step up and do the right thing, meaning, provide the police some direct proof,” he said. 

Also read: Nunavut to begin offering vaccinations for COVID-19 to kids under 5

A longtime Behchokǫ̀ citizen is speaking out about the “exponential increase” of crack cocaine use in his district, and he’s not alone

Behchokǫ̀ is located approximately 100 kilometers from Yellowknife and has an estimated population of 2,100 — making it the most significant Indigenous neighborhood in the Northwest Territories. It’s even one of four communities that include the Tłı̨chǫ area. 

Monfwi MLA Jane Weyallon-Armstrong, who describes the Tłı̨chǫ communities, spoke about the province’s high rates of substance abuse in the Legislative Assembly in February. “People are consuming and doing narcotics at an unnerving rate,” she said. 

“We even have crack cocaine in our communities. At one time, this was unheard of.”

Young people used as drug smugglers, chief alleges

In a phone interview, Behchokǫ Chief Clifford Daniels said he too is concerned regarding the quantity of crack cocaine and other hard narcotics in the community. 

“These harder drugs are causing more mess,” said Daniels. 

Source – CBC News

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