While Ohio has been facing a drug epidemic with the substance Fentanyl, which has recently found its way in cocaine and other substances besides heroin, there has been a drug that has seen a massive resurgence. That substance would be crystal meth. Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine, it is a stimulant that produces intense euphoria and energy that lasts for hours, sometimes even days.
The feelings it produces are so intense and addicting that people who indulge in it get addicted very quickly. It can be smoked, snorted and even injected. Like all illicit drugs, meth has severe side effects that come along with being addicted to it. Some may argue meth has the worst side effects, studies show that meth can do permanent brain damage.
Some serious side effects of crystal meth include :
- Rotting teeth
- Body sores
- Scratching/picking of skin
- Dramatic increase of body temperature
Another big part of the meth lifestyle is a highly increased sexual libido. This creates an environment of groups of meth users having extremely unsafe sex with others and transmitting diseases.
Meth In Ohio
The numbers from the past few years are staggering. Between the 23 drug task forces that are funded through the Ohio High-Intensity Drug Trafficking agency, they have seen a 1,600% increase in the amount of meth seized from 2015 to 2019. An incredible statistic that simply lays out the resurgence of meth in Ohio.
From these task force’s Intel, it seems that a lot of the meth is coming from Mexico and is more pure than ever. Years ago meth that would populate the Ohio area was made by people in-state in peoples basements and sheds. Now it’s being funneled in from other countries and is more potent than ever.
So, why crystal meth in Ohio? Some experts believe that it’s not the fact that meth is primarily the problem, but that Ohio just has a major addiction problem. Just like the rest of our country. While meth is extremely dangerous,it is not as much of a killer as heroin. The theory seems to be that addicts justify meth use because it is safer than IV heroin and there is less risk of overdose. It also is cheaper as you don’t need to use much to feel long term effects.
Brittany Christian, a 32 year old woman from Ohio who is now in recovery stated that while she was in rehab, “Everybody had done it and I hadn’t done it, and I really wanted to try it. I did not want to go through heroin withdrawal again.” Six months after leaving rehab, she made the decision to try meth.
“It’s just as easy as getting cigarettes at a gas station.” She stated.
Treatment For Meth Addiction
Finding Inpatient Treatment in Ohio has become a bit easier in the past decade thanks to continuing support from the state government. The response to the opiate epidemic has been strong, with the biggest invention being medically assisted treatment.
This type of treatment involves the use of the Suboxone, which is a medication that consists of buperenorphine and naloxone. This medication blocks the opiate receptors which can prevent cravings and even can keep a person from feeling the effects of opiates if taken at the same time. It’s a controversial medication, as some people feel its just another drug to get addicted to. You can experience withdrawal from quitting Suboxone cold turkey but there’s one undeniable fact about it, it saves lives.
There is no equivalent medication for crystal meth in Ohio, meth is known to have one of the worse relapse rates of all drugs because of the lack of medication that can curb cravings or deal with post-acute withdrawal symptoms. You can’t withdrawal on meth like you would for heroin but it is still a very unpleasant experience and difficult to deal with. Meth withdrawal can last months for people and includes :
- Lack of motivation
- Strong cravings
These symptoms are very hard for people in early recovery from meth addiction to deal with. Unless they are in long-term treatment, which is a very privileged thing to have, it’s nearly inevitable for someone to succumb to the meth cravings after feeling so down from the withdrawal.
The Problem Keeps Growing
Treatment centers have seen a boom in admits that are coming for Meth addiction in Ohio. Not enough people are getting treatment though, the latest figures from U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, from 2012 to 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths from meth and other psycho stimulants had grown by 5 times. So while in the sick thinking of someone suffering from addiction believes meth is safer than heroin, it is still a devastating addiction to go through.
The rise in meth again has called for action to provide a solution similar to the heroin epidemic but so far, there are no answers. Meth and heroin are like apples and oranges when it comes to what they do to the body and how the effects they produce. Crystal meth in ohio has taken over the state again, and it doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.