Meth Addiction is Still a Thing in California
Over recent years, meth addiction treatment California has seen an increase in the use of meth with its patients. Although we are now in the middle of an opioid epidemic, hardly anybody remembers that there was a methamphetamine crisis.
Before 2005, the United States was experiencing a methamphetamine crisis. It was so bad at the time, that Congress decided they had to act, and it passed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. The Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA stated that the act was meant to control the sales of methamphetamines and its derivatives. Twelve years have gone by since the law passed, and meth appears to be making a comeback.
Is Meth More Dangerous than Heroin?
As an example of a comeback, more people die in Oregon from methamphetamine use than from heroin abuse. Officials are taking possession of 10 to 20 times more methamphetamine than they did 10 years ago. The methamphetamine of today is purer and cheaper, but it is also more deadly.
Individual states have passed legislation against the use of methamphetamines along with the federal government. For example, Oregon began to require people to have a doctor’s prescription to obtain the nasal decongestant that is used to make meth in 2006.
These extra regulations have led to two different consequences. The first is the fact that the numbers of meth labs have dropped significantly over the years. This meant that fewer children were affected by meth and that police officers were not being sickened by these dangerous chemicals as often. The second is the fact that meth can now be found everywhere, and since more people are using meth, more of them are dying because of it.
The History of Meth
Methamphetamine became the drug of choice for many people during the early 2000s. It was made in domestic labs from the ingredient “pseudoephedrine” that was found in Sudafed. In Oregon, police were sent to 114 meth houses in 2004, and narcotics squads spent a majority of their time cleaning up the mess.
With the passage of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, pseudoephedrine was no longer placed on the shelves. Customers could only purchase 7.5 grams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day time period, and every pharmacy had to track sales of the substance. Makers of meth tried to get around these rules by sending several different people to many different stores to buy the drug in what became known as “smurfing.” Even so, methamphetamine overdoses fell significantly.
Because the state of Oregon required a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, it wasn’t possible for people in the state to engage in smurfing. That’s when people switched to heroin and prescription painkillers. The opioid crisis began, and meth was no longer in the news.
Meth Is Still a Problem
However, that wasn’t the end for meth. People found a way to bring meth back after the Mexican drug cartel stepped in to fill the methamphetamine void. These days, the cops are confiscating tons of methamphetamines on highway stops.
Seizures of methamphetamines at the U.S./Mexico border have gone up. Methamphetamines have also been taken from the airport and seaport in significant numbers in California. This means that there has been an increase from 3,693 pounds of meth in 2009 to 14,732 pounds in 2014 according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. At the same time, cannabis and cocaine seizures dropped.
The product that the cartels are supplying is so pure and cheap that dealers are having trouble unloading it all. These people are under so much pressure to get rid of it that they allow people to buy it on credit. The drug has even made its way into black neighborhoods, and this wasn’t the case five years ago.
The new methamphetamine is 100 percent pure, but it only costs users $5 for a hit. That makes it extremely difficult for people to leave meth on the table. People who have used cocaine for years are taking the opportunity to start using meth because of its pure content and cheap price tag. In 2008, undercover agents had to spend between $8,000 and $10,000 to purchase one pound of meth, but now, they don’t even have to spend $3,500.
Meth Use Knows No Boundaries
A wider range of people have begun to use meth in recent years. Experts have discovered that homeless people are now using meth in greater numbers. It has also spread out to lower socioeconomic people in the rural areas.
After the passage of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, arrests for methamphetamine possession dropped dramatically because of the pseudoephedrine regulations. By 2013, as many people were being arrested for meth as they had been before the law went into effect.
In 2015, most of the deaths from stimulant use were attributable to methamphetamine use. Nearly 6,000 people died in this manner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a 255 percent increase since 2005.
Economist John Carnevale stated that what is needed is public education on the dangers of methamphetamine. He states that the drug laws have only given foreign producers incentives to fill in the gaps that former American meth producers have left behind. Rather than regulations, he would like to promote prevention as well as education so that people know the consequences of methamphetamine use. People also need meth addiction treatment California if they are struggling with an addiction.
If you or a loved one is in need of meth addiction treatment California, contact Ocean Hills Recovery today.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.