THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service received a grant earlier this year from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of $100,000.00 in the name of Project Nexus which will address alcohol and drug abuse. Project Nexus is comprised of two components; one being operational, and the other educational.
During the week of March 14, 2016, Project Nexus’ operational efforts were conducted in Dryden, Ontario with the assistance of Canada Post and the Dryden Police Service. Police, along with the Canada Post Inspector seized over 18 litres of alcohol, 117.3 grams of Marihuana, and 96 Gabapentin pills.
Gabapentin is a medication that is used to treat different types of neuropathic pain as well as to control seizures in individuals who have epilepsy.
While Gabapentin has many positive uses, it is only meant to be taken as prescribed by a doctor and should not be used at one’s own discretion.
This is because the medication can cause intense side effects and, very recently, it has been discovered that Gabapentin has started to become a common drug of abuse and is being abused in northern communities.
The seizure included different forms of Marihuana that were packed in a child’s toy, to note, Shatter, Lollipops, and Chocolate Cups. Shatter, named for its often peanut brittle-like texture and tendency to break into glass-like shards, is a concentrated derivative of Marihuana.
Although alcohol is not illegal it is prohibited and named as non-mailable matter from being shipped via Canada Post as per the Canada Post Act as well it is prohibited in the northern First Nation communities by s.81.1(1) Indian Act, Band Council By-Law.
Intoxicating beverages can only be shipped within Canada by Parcel Services contract customers and VentureOne cardholders that meet each of the very strict requirements.
The operational aspect of Project Nexus will continue with the educational component to be unveiled early May of 2016 with a website, educational videos, and a smartphone/iPhone app.