In recent years, public health officials have focused on rising opioid use among Americans. However, it is only one of two drug epidemics that have been spreading in the U.S. The other is methamphetamine use, which is growing rapidly in the western part of the country. The result is a two-front battle against different substances and addictions that are beginning to overwhelm addiction treatment providers.
The Struggle for Attention
Despite the rise of methamphetamine use and addiction in conjunction with that of opioids, local and federal lawmakers have been slow in keeping up with the trend. Indeed, the bulk of their attention—and funding—continues to go toward addressing opioids. Meanwhile, some supporters of opioid addiction treatment are concerned that giving attention to meth use will divert time and resources from their own cause, creating a divide among drug treatment advocates. Basically, opioid and meth treatment supporters are being forced to compete for their “fair share” of attention.
Causes of Rising Meth-Related Deaths
On the surface, methamphetamines are not as inherently lethal as opioids, but the rise of deaths from meth use suggests increased potency in current supplies, or possibly contamination that makes them deadlier. The higher death rate also includes more overdoses among older people. Most meth-related deaths are caused by brain hemorrhage or heart attack, which are unusual in young adults because their brain and heart tissue is typically healthier. As people age, they are at higher risk for both causes when using meth.
Risk of Relapse and Circumstantial Difficulties
As with all forms of addiction to substance and alcohol use, meth addicts are at risk of relapse. Statistically, 60% of meth users start to use again within a year of their recovery. It is an exceptionally difficult problem for them to overcome. The recovery process requires them to go through physical, mental, and emotional difficulties, Meanwhile, a relative lack of awareness, education, and material resources in comparison to those dedicated to preventing or treating opioid addiction deprives meth addicts of proper understanding and care.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance use, including methamphetamines or opioids, Contact Ridgeview Ranch (877-526-7706) for help starting on a path to recovery and healing. Our holistic addiction treatment programs are administered by compassionate experts to help addicts take back control of their lives. We also offer support for post-treatment individuals with sober living.