Meth Use on the Rise
As America continues to attempt fighting the opioid epidemic, a new epidemic re-surges, crystal meth.
Meth use is rising throughout the U.S after years of dormancy, hidden in the shadows of the opioid epidemic.
Some people forget the meth epidemic we faced in the early 2000’s.
There were meth labs on the evening news daily. Meth labs were popping up in neighborhood homes, being found after domestic violence calls, and in many burglaries and street crime arrests.
People were being put in danger due to the fumes, chemical burns and chemical explosions that come along with meth use and labs. In some states, there were multiple meth lab explosions each day, injuring innocent by standards and the police officers who responded to them. The meth crisis even affected the number of violent crimes such as robberies, in some cities.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma there were 431 meth labs in 2011. As the meth crisis became more severe, task forces were put together to work on closing labs, stopping the sale of the drug, and making its ingredients less accessible.
The biggest step to combat the crisis was passing a law that made the main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, more difficult to come by. In some states you need a doctor prescription to buy pseudoephedrine and in some you can only buy a small amount per month.
Pseudoephedrine was once easily bought over the counter at pharmacies across the nation, making at home meth labs pop up throughout rural America. After these laws were passed and the task force began making arrests, the meth problem became less and less pressing. There were less labs being found, less crime being committed, and less use of meth, or so we thought.
At the border, there are ten to twenty times more meth seizures than any other drug. Meth has become cheaper in recent years, from over 1,000 dollars per pound to 250 dollars per pound.
The number of lethal meth overdoses in the state of Oklahoma has more than doubled in recent years, rising from 140 in 2012 to 327 in 2017. In Oregon 232 people died from meth use in 2016, almost doubling the number of opioid overdose deaths.
Many people believe that meth is a “west coast” problem, however it has been popping up throughout the north western states such as Massachusetts. In Boston emergency centers staff now must be trained on deescalating patients who walk in and exhibit symptoms of meth abuse. Patient who use meth are also put at the top of the list, to be seen as soon as possible. Doctors and psychiatrists say this is vital to the treatment of meth, putting time between the user and the last high is one of the only ways to calm the brain down.
Meth overflows the brain with dopamine, so much that some researches have suggested that after use the dopamine levels in the brain soar 4000 percent over its baseline. This makes it extremely difficult for people to stop. In some brain scans on people addicted to meth, you can visibly see a difference in the active areas in the brain. This isn’t a quick fix, it can take over two years for the brain to go back to normal.
Meth Use on the Rise: Why?
Many experts believe that the increase in meth abuse throughout the U.S is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, because there just aren’t as many solutions for meth addiction or overdose. There is no naloxone for meth overdose, or suboxone for people trying to ween off meth.
Other researches have suggested that the vivitrol shot could have something to do with the increase of people abusing stimulants. People once believed vivitrol would be able to “cure” the opioid epidemic, since people given the shot would not be able to get high, they would just stop using. Vivitrol blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, which means that once you get the shot, you can no longer get high on heroin or opioid pills. However, vivitrol may help people stay off opioids, but it is not fixing the addiction.
Instead patients are turning to different drugs to get their high from, such as meth.
Meth Use on the Rise: How Amatus Can Help You
Addiction has many layers, it is spiritual, mental and physical, which is why there is not one cure. Using only the vivitrol shot is not a cure. Focusing on the drug of choice is not the cure. Instead of trying to come up with a solution for the opioid crisis or the meth crisis, we need to begin working on the addiction crisis, which is what Amatus Health treatment centers do.
Our treatment team works with you to come up with the plan that will best suit your needs. Ever patient has a treatment plan that is individualized. We work with you in the areas you want or need help with, whether that is past trauma, depression and anxiety, family problems or getting back to school or work. When someone enters our care, we don’t focus on what drug they were using, we focus on why they were using and go from there.
You don’t have to live another day in the cycle of your addiction, whether it is meth you are using, heroin or alcohol, you can choose a new life today. Call one of our admissions specialists now to begin working with a team of dedicated professionals who have been where you are, and want to see you succeed in sobriety.