Meth Blog

Meth — A deadly epidemic

Washington state’s mobile SWAT team descended on the Diamond Lake property in January to bust an accused methamphetamine manufacturer, Ron Rigby of Newport. The team got the “cooker” and his drug-making kit that included a gallon of industrial-grade rust remover.

And then they found the squalor in the adjoining trailer.

“I wouldn’t put a dog in that place,” said a child welfare official who handled the case.

As law enforcement combats the region’s growing meth epidemic, social workers are losing the struggle to help addicts and their children.

Meth is the drug of the moment in the Inland Northwest, more popular than cocaine and heroin. It’s a drug that splits families like an ax.

Children were found living in about half the 36 meth labs busted in Spokane County last year; statewide, 34 percent of 789 meth labs were home to children.

 

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Vicodin Addiction

Vicodin is a common doctor prescribed remedy for relieving any pain from surgery to migraines. Vicodin has effects similar to heroin and morphine, and addiction is very common to those who abuse it.

Vicodin is the brand name for a prescribed pill containing a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is also a pain reliever, and is a main ingredient in painkillers like Tylenol. It has mild pain suppression properties, and it works in conjunction with other drugs such as hydrocodone, the active ingredient in Vicodin.

Hydrocodone is a semi-synthesized compound made from the dried sap of a poppy plant. The plant naturally produces chemicals in the opiate family such as codeine and thebaine: the two primary substances used to create hydrocodone. Drugs derived from the poppy plant are known as opiates or opioids.

Once ingested or injected, opioids work by binding with pain receptors in the brain and other areas of the central nervous system, thereby muting the effect of the pain sensation. This effect makes Vicodin very useful as a treatment for moderate to moderately severe pain.

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Tipping with meth

Two customers accused of leaving an envelope full of meth as a tip for a waitress at a restaurant in Oregon are now facing a handful of drug-related charges, according to the Seaside Police Department.

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Meth and Masturbating

A man who was high reportedly fought off more than a dozen police officers while on meth and  masturbating.

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Meth Intervention

Intervention is a pre-planned attempt by one or many people (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors) to get the addict to seek meth addiction treatment.  Often interventions are held by family members and close friends and take place when other, more subtle approaches to getting help have been unsuccessful. Generally, there are two types of intervention – informal and formal.

Informal Intervention

An informal intervention is simply a conversation you might have with the person you are concerned about and sharing some of your observations, asking questions, and suggesting that (s)he seek qualified meth addiction treatment.  Many informal interventions take place when a concerned friend, family member, or co-worker becomes concerned about an addict and does not want to include others at that time from fear of undesired tension between the addict and others. Informal interventions are a good way for a friend or co-worker to privately discuss their concerns with the addict without involving others.  An informal intervention is most likely to have positive effects if it is well planned out in advance and takes place in a comfotable place when the addict is calm and sober.

Tips for an informal intervention

*Get the facts about meth addiction
*Get help for yourself – talk to someone about your concerns before the intervention
*Pick the right time and place (when the addict is sober and in a calming, private place)
*Plan what you’re going to say & mentally prepare yourself for the intervention
*Convey your affection and respect to that addict
*Express your concern
*Use specific examples of how addiction has effected the addict’s life
*Offer help – have multiple options for fidning treatment help available
*Set Limits so you will no longer be in an awkward or enabling position
*Don’t expect miracles if your intervention doesn’t seem to have worked. Each expression of concern chips away at denial, eventually leading to the point at which the addict is no longer able to ignore the truth

Formal Intervention

A formal intervention involves a trained professional interventionist, acting as a facilitator and mediator, who assists with a structured, pre-planned conversation between the support group and the addicted person during the intervention.  This involves bringing together a group of people with the addict to explore how his or her addiction has affected all of their lives. The formal intervention is normally used when the person has repeatedly refused to get help.  The intervention is designed to get the person to take concrete steps, address their addiction issues, and to get his or her agreement to enter an addiction treatment program immediately (i.e. go for an evaluation, attend counseling, enter out-patient, in-patient, or a residential meth addiction treatment center).

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Meth Health Effects

Prolonged use of meth has severe psychological and physical effects on the user. In addition, individuals who produce meth and others who are exposed to meth lab sites or toxic waste products can suffer serious health consequences.

Meth Use and Pregnancy

The first study to look at meth and potential lasting effects on children whose mothers used it in pregnancy finds these kids at higher risk for behavior problems than other children.
The behavior differences – anxiety, depression, moodiness – weren’t huge, but lead researcher Linda LaGasse called them “very worrisome.”

Meth is a stimulant like crack cocaine, and earlier research showed meth babies have similarities to so-called “crack babies” -smaller in size and prone to drowsiness and stress. Results in long-term studies conflict on whether children of cocaine-using mothers have lasting behavior problems. Whether problems persist in young children of meth users is unknown. But LaGasse, who does research at Brown University’s Centre of the Study of Children at Risk, said methamphetamine has stronger effects on the brain so it may be more likely to cause lasting effects in children.
The study was published online in Pediatrics. The National Institutes of Health paid for the research, including a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Heroin and Teens

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Heroin, a drug most often associated with the gritty back alleys of big cities, is making a surprising surge in suburban, affluent places.

Many new heroin addicts started as teens, abusing prescription painkillers they found in their homes, say law enforcement and public health officials.

The transition from getting high on a parent’s leftover meds to being a strung-out heroin addict is easier, faster and more common than parents might believe, say addiction experts, drug officers and recovering addicts.

Auburn, Calif., native Brandon Scott was 15 when he started using prescription meds, mostly OxyContin — a brand name of the opioid painkiller oxycodone. In a matter of months, he went from the prolonged buzz of ingesting the pills to boosting the high by crushing the pills and smoking them.

Once addicted, and willing to do anything to keep the painful withdrawal symptoms at bay, it was a short leap to heroin, said Scott, who is now 19 and in recovery.

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