The opioid epidemic is the loud man on campus, but it doesn’t mean he is the biggest bully on campus. National Public Radio, or NPR, recently did a story on a small town in the United States that is finding that an old foe is rising again. In small towns and big cities across New Jersey and the United States, meth is taking its toll on communities and individual lives, but it is not for the first time in New Jersey, and it is not for the first time for the small middle of America town that the NPR story profiled.
Meth use dipped early this decade after lawmakers cut access to key ingredients — such as the over-the-counter decongestant pseudoephedrine. Siebert says it was about the same time that opioids took hold in the region. “Now that they’re hammering down on the opiates,” Siebert says, “guess what’s happening? Now the meth is coming back in”
It would be easy to think that the fact that no one is talking about meth means that less people are using it. Or maybe, that less talk about meth would make people use it less, would make it trend less – “out of sight out of mind” – but according to experts, meth is starting to make a comeback and it is likely just the beginning of a fierce power play. In fact, meth usage has skyrocketed to be at an all time high in the nation. But why is this intoxicant coming back now? Experts have said that meth is less expensive, and more available than it ever has been. It is also more potent than it has been in the past. More for less is a hard bargain for an addict to pass up. The next question then is why is it cheaper and readily available? What has changed?
No longer chiefly made by “cooks” in makeshift labs in the U.S., methamphetamine is now the domain of Mexican drug cartels that are mass-producing high-quality quantities of the drug and pushing it into markets where it was previously unknown. But even in rural communities ravaged by decades of experience with the drug, meth is on the upswing thanks to its relatively low price, availability and a shortage of treatment options.
These are Signs & Symptoms Someone May Exhibit When Using Meth
- Meth use often results in sudden and drastic weight loss. Though meth users lose weight, it is rarely due to a shift in dietary choices or a difference in the way the addict exercises. Meth makes users lose their urge to eat. Their appetite vanishes and their adrenaline rages. This lack of sustenance can result in muscles atrophying, malnutrition, and dysfunction of the neural functions. Weight loss, though, can actually be a motivating factor for some users, to continue taking the drug. This is the result of a society that puts physical appearance above physical wellbeing.
- Meth addicts may begin to get tremors after they use the drug. A person’s muscles rely on certain nutrients to work properly – certain electrolytes that we lose while we sweat, when we urinate or lose body fluids in other ways. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and others are necessary for proper musculoskeletal function. Tremors also may occur as a result of meth related deterioration in the person’s nervous system.
- The meth user may have compromised reflexes, also due to the person’s compromised nervous system.
- Insomnia, abnormal sleep habits, and overwhelming fatigue can be caused by meth usage. Lack of sleep is one of the variables in a person’s life that can take an addict even deeper into the addiction rabbit hole than they already are. Exhaustion can itself cause devastating symptoms when it is severe. Meth addicts sometimes stay awake for days and often this aids in a dissent into a psychotic state often also facilitated by the binging of the drug.
- Dehydration in meth users can result in split lips, skin irritation, low immune system functions among others. With dehydration, the nervous system can suffer dramatically.
Treatment For Sufferers of Meth Addiction at Top Rated Drug Rehab Centers in New Jersey
Though meth is an intense substance to become chemically dependent on, there is help for someone suffering. For someone who suffers from addiction to meth NJ detox centers have excellent treatment options available. Drug detox and rehab programs through Discovery Institute offer medical detox designed to be sure that the patient is medically stable as well as safe and supported while they go through the difficult experience of withdrawal Discovery Institute also offers individualized rehab programs. Rehab is designed to teach the patient the necessary skills to succeed at sober living in NJ.
To finally break free from the intense hold that meth can have on your life, whether you or a loved one is addicted to the substance, contact us at your earliest convenience. We’re ready to talk whenever you are.
Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification. Dr. Ranieri has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, counselors and laypeople about the Disease of Addiction throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2012.