Addicted: Meth fuelling petty and violent crime in Edmonton

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When all was said and done, she faced more than a dozen charges. “I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Normally, someone in Yeomans’ position would have limited options. She could either take the charges to trial, possibly years in the future, or she could try to plead to whatever the Crown was offering.

Instead, a few things happened in her favour. First, Yeomans’ sister’s husband, who is a lawyer, advised her not to go with her co-accused’s attorney. “He was like … ‘these are some really bad charges Jocelan, you’re going to see your own (lawyer).’”

Yeomans’ lawyer, Stephen Straub, got her to enter guilty pleas to two counts of fraud under $5,000 and a single count of possession of stolen property. She paid restitution.

Straub then applied for Yeomans to go through drug court. At first, she was denied because of the firearms charges. Eventually, she agreed to sign a sworn statement swearing the guns were not hers and that she’d be willing to testify against her co-accused.

“I was 100 per cent honest,” she said.

Yeomans ultimately did not have to testify in the other case. With those charges gone, she was accepted into drug court. She still sees it as something of a miracle.

“Personally, I just know how messed up, and how in denial, and how twisted my reality was,” she said. “And what I was able to justify.”

Next week Jonny Wakefield and Anna Junker examine how meth addiction affects the health of users and the health system more widely.

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