These days we seem to give almost exclusive attention to prescription opioids, heroin and synthetics like fentanyl or carfentanil. And for good reason, the epidemic we have been confronting for nearly two decades is like nothing we have ever faced before. Over a hundred Americans lose their lives every day from overdose. The government has declared a state of emergency, with lawmakers and health experts being confounded over what to do about it. But, the essential solution (which has been under-utilized) is providing greater access to treatment. Better educating doctors and patients about the dangers of opioids to prevent future use disorders and potential overdoses. Because at the end of the day, ours is a problem of addiction. Preventing it, and treating the disease will save lives.
When focusing on the opioid addiction epidemic we must not take our eye off some of the other narcotics both ruining and taking lives. In many ways, like the somnolence typified by opioid use, the epidemic has put us in a state of sleepiness regarding other substances. You know, not too long ago all the talk was about methamphetamine. Once called the most deadly and pernicious substance being abused by Americans. But a combination of numerous factors caused many Americans to think that the tide of the meth epidemic had been stemmed. Which makes sense, after all everyone was talking about meth — then they weren’t. So, meth must not be a problem anymore, right?
Meth Hasn’t Gone Anywhere, We Stopped Talking About It
Not for nothing, addiction has been around forever. But when it takes people’s lives in overwhelming numbers at young ages, people seem to give it more credence. Such was the case with opioids. As the death toll continued to mount with each year that passed, we were all forced to confront the opioid epidemic. Especially when people from nearly every demographic are dying every day. Unfortunately, while we were all focusing on opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine use continued and increased with few taking notice. Perhaps some new research will cause people to divert their attention from opioids for a moment.
A review of research, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, indicates a heightened risk of stroke among young people who use meth, BMJ reports. This is concerning considering that methamphetamine use is on the rise, especially in North America. Methamphetamine can be swallowed, inhaled, or injected. Swallowing and injecting meth was associated with Haemorrhagic strokes (bleed into the brain) risks. Whereas, inhalation was linked to ischaemic stroke (caused by a clot).
“With the use of methamphetamine increasing, particularly more potent forms, there is a growing burden of methamphetamine related disease and harms, particularly among young people, in whom the majority of methamphetamine use occurs,” the researchers wrote. “Indeed, it is likely that methamphetamine abuse is making a disproportionate contribution to the increased incidence of stroke among young people observed over recent years.”
Meth addiction, as you can see, can lead to premature death. It may not be as common as opioid overdose, but worth everyone's focus. This is not just a drug that makes people “hyper” and rots out one’s teeth. The caustic effect it has on the human body can be fatal. If you are addicted to methamphetamine, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to discuss treatment options. Recovery will save your life.