Resurgence of Meth Addiction in Ohio
The recent resurgence of meth addiction in Ohio has hit hard with problems of epidemic proportion being reported across the state – in particular in the more rural areas where police investigators have found the remnants of the small illegal labs that are often associated with methamphetamine production strewn along back roads and highways. In the period of time from October 2013 to March 2014 police departments throughout Ohio found a shocking 315 meth labs, there were 66 discovered in Summit County and only one discovered in Cuyahoga County. These figures go to show that meth production is an almost exclusively rural problem.
Resurgence of Meth in Ohio
But why is this? Well, there are a variety of reasons, with no neighbors around to get suspicious there is nobody to call the cops when they see you hauling in suspicious barrels or see smoke billowing from your house. Another theory is that struggling suppliers of farming supplies and in some instances the farmers themselves are happy to cut deals on large quantities of ammonia, a farmyard fertilizer that is also a key component in meth processing. Unlike many other narcotics which require ingredients that are contraband, and extremely difficult to obtain in the States, the most exotic ingredient in meth is ephedrine – an ingredient that is used to manufacture cold medication. Not since the early 20th century when alcohol was outlawed has an illegal drug been so easy to make, and by people with only the most basic understandings of chemistry.
Meth Addiction in Ohio
In recent years meth addiction in Ohio is reaching staggering levels with 2,706 reported meth arrests in Ohio in the last half of 2015. This figure grew to a shocking 3,265 in the first half of 2016. There has also been a steady rise in the number of meth labs uncovered by police in recent years with figures released by police to show that in 2009, when investigators dismantled 348, and in 2010, when they busted 359. In 2011, officers seized 375, these figures continued to rise and in 2012 officers in Ohio had uncovered 607 meth labs, followed by an unbelievable 881 in 2013. Reports show that in 2014 meth lab seizures in the Highland and Clermont counties in Southwest Ohio have jumped: Highland, which has a population of just 42,000 had an astonishing 29 meth labs busted, while Clermont had 25. Fairfield, which is east of Franklin, had 30.
A SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Drug Abuse Warning Network report showed that emergency room visits related to the use of meth rose from about 68,000 in 2007 to around 103,000 in 2011. More than 60% of these documented visits involved the use of meth with at least one other substance such as alcohol or cocaine. This rise in meth addiction in Ohio can be attributed to many things, in particular the cheap price of the drug, it is a recognized trend – the cheaper the drug then almost inevitably the more users and in turn addicts that will emerge. It could also be down to the rural locations, with many teenagers and young adults claiming that the reason that they or people they know have turned to drug or alcohol abuse is that there is nothing to do in the local area.
Whatever the reason behind growing number of meth addiction in Ohio, there is no doubt of the destructive effects that meth is having on the state of Ohio, with the incident rate recorded by police departments concerning stimulants (primarily methamphetamine) increased by over 300% from 2004 to 2014. This is further aggravated by the effect that it is having on the community with regards to the well-being of the users themselves. Chronic meth users may experience sporadic episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, insomnia, and confusion. Heavy users also display worrying social and occupational deterioration, with many losing family, friends, and employment because of their habit. Research has shown that prolonged meth use may completely disrupt how a user’s brain functions and can modify behavior and damage the brain’s production of chemicals in fundamental and long-lasting ways. Although hope is not lost for meth users as with time, treatment, and a recovery period, the negative effects of meth addiction in Ohio on the brain can be diminished or in some cases completely reversed. That is why if you are concerned that someone you know is suffering from meth use or abuse, then you should do your best to encourage them to access the help that they need. It is vitally important that they don’t try to do it alone, there are specialist health care professionals and treatment centers out there whose sole objective is to fight Ohio’s meth problem.
If you have any questions regarding Meth addiction, please contact Lumiere Healing Centers at 513-909-2225.