Drug Addiction Information Resource for Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

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General Information for Portage la Prairie

Portage la Prairie, located in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, is the fourth largest city in the province with a population of just over 12,000 residents. The city sits just west of Winnipeg, the capital city, on the Assiniboine River.

Historically, Portage la Prairie is a major transportation center in the region, due, originally, to its proximity to the river and, in later years, its proximity to the main lines of the national railways. The city is widely known for its mature urban forest, and now prides itself on its aggressive tree-planting program.

Portage la Prairie sits in an agrarian region of the province. As such, the local economy is largely dependent on agriculture and its supporting industries. Both McCain Foods and Simplot potato processing plants are located in Portage la Prairie, supplying french fries around the country. Retail is also an important sector, as Portage la Prairie is the retail center for the region, servicing residents from nearby small towns and Native reserves.

Drug Addiction and Abuse in Portage la Prairie

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug by Manitoban students, according to a survey conducted by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM), consistent with the rest of the country. According to the Canadian Addiction Survey, marijuana use is prevalent amongst all Canadians with nearly half of the adult population having tried the drug in their lifetime. Overall in Canada, there are high rates of lifetime use, as well as high rates of teenage use—approximately 70 percent of 18 to 19 year olds have tried marijuana, and about 50 percent have smoked the drug in the last year.

The AFM also found that rates of use increased with each grade. For example, seven percent of both boys and girls have tried marijuana in Grade 7. This rate increases dramatically when students reach high school, with 27 percent of boys and girls having smoked marijuana in Senior 1, and about 50 percent of girls and 42 percent of boys in Senior 3.

Furthermore, over one-in-five students in Senior 1 is a ‘current user’—having used marijuana in the last 12 months. By Senior 4, 42 percent of students are current users. Boys are more likely to smoke more frequently than girls, with 10 percent of boys smoking marijuana once a week or more versus only seven percent of girls in Manitoba.

Students surveyed by AFM were also given a list of 15 drugs, some illegal while others not, and were asked to indicate how often in the past year they had used each. From this, researchers ascertained that magic mushrooms (or psilocybin) are the second most commonly used drugs by Manitoba youth. Hard drugs, on the other hand, are surprisingly rare. Only a small percentage of students use crack, with about four percent of students responding that they had used in the past year. Cocaine is more prevalent, however, with about three to four percent of Senior 1 to Senior 3 students and over eight percent of Senior 4 students using cocaine.

At Sobriety.ca Foundation, we keep up-to-date on all the latest drug use and alcohol addiction research so that we can offer the best addiction treatment programs possible. New research allows us a better understanding of alcohol and drug addiction, resulting in better counselling, treatment, aftercare, and, ultimately, a more successful recovery process for you.