Tuesday, Nov 08,2016
Peel Region's community addiction problem mirrors Punjab Drug Abuse


It is a rustic drug, made from crushing dried poppy pods, the power is then dissolved in water or steeped in tea for a quick high.  They are called Doda, in Punjabi, it has become the gateway drug to harder narcotics like heroine and cocaine.  For a short period of time, there was confusion as to whether doda was legal.  It was openly available at meat stores and became the drug of choice for many in the community, especially those in the trucking industry.


It's also a habit that mirrors the spike in drug abuse in Punjab.  The drug trade has seen a spike in Indo-Canadian gangs in BC trafficking the drug.  There are even dial-for-dope hotlines.  Users call the number of a dealer and wait at a predetermined street corner for delivery.

When doda became well known as being illegal; they vanished from the store shelves.  Some addicts turned to an alternate source of getting a high, heroin.  With the increased use of heroin we are seeing increase in Criminal offences.  Everything from assaults, thefts and mischief and even murder.  Addiction issues are being addressed by a number of community based organizations, such as the Punjabi Community Health Services.  More resources are needed from the government to combat the problem.  Including increased awareness of the dangers of heroin use and treatment plans such as Methadone Treatment Programs.  As a Criminal Defence lawyer in Mississauga, I rarely saw cases in the Punjabi Community involving harsh drugs, such as heroin.  However, now it is the most popular drug amongst the 30 plus age group.  It is destroying families and causing a major problem in the community.




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