With a population of 865, 454, the Midwestern state of South Dakota (SD) is not only beautiful but also features some of the friendliest people and historic places. With median household revenue of $54, 467 as of 2016, the state also has some of the best national parks nationwide.
Nevertheless, its residents know that the threat of drug addiction still looms in spite of the lush surroundings within the state and surrounding areas.
In particular, Yankton County is one of the areas with the highest substance abuse concentration. Other areas with markedly high concentrations include Brown County, Hughes County, and Pennington County.
In fact, numerous residents know firsthand the destructive effects drug addiction can have on somebody’s life. From broken ties with loved ones and family to the possibility of overdose or other severe health complications, substance abuse’s negative impact can be overwhelming.
Although SD ranks extremely well for illegal drug use in comparison with the rest of the nation, problems are evident.
The two drugs that particularly pose a threat to the state are marijuana and methamphetamine. Marijuana is especially affecting teenagers in South Dakota because of its easy accessibility regardless of age.
When it comes to meth, more people are abusing the drug and becoming addicts due to accessibility. Furthermore, various meth labs operate throughout the Midwestern state. As a result, the state is witnessing an increased number of related deaths and arrests.
Fortunately, the state’s rehab centers offer therapies and other treatment approaches with the goal of helping people overcome the addiction influence and live a productive and healthy drug-free and sober life.
Drug Arrests in South Dakota
According to news reports, there were 7, 671 drug arrests in South Dakota in 2016, marking a 13% increase from the previous year. Reports further reveal that drug arrests have increased in the state because of meth, which is shifting deeper into the state’s rural areas.
Nevertheless, most of the meth-related arrests have occurred in Pennington and Minnehaha Counties. In other reports, five people faced charges last year in a bust at an Aberdeen business. The bust led to the biggest meth seizure in the city history.
The bust occurred in February during which authorities seized almost 5 pounds of meth with a street value of $415, 000 together with $4, 000 cash, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and syringes. In other reports, SD officials stated that meth arrests had increased 32% statewide from the previous year.
Some of the counties that experienced a considerable increase in meth arrests included Minnehaha, Fall River, Pennington, and Oglala Lakota. This year, a drug bust occurred in Sioux Falls after a months-long investigation.
During this bust, the authorities arrested 3 people and seized 60 of grams of methamphetamine. The police arrested one of the suspects for distribution and possession of a controlled substance along with paraphernalia.
According to reports, SD residents face a decreased likelihood of dying from drug or opioid overdoses than almost anyone else nationwide. According to a 2015 report, the state had 3.5 related deaths per 100, 000 while North Dakota registered a rate of 4.8.
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Marijuana Arrests in South Dakota
On January 13 this year, the police arrested a Yankton resident for possessing a firearm and drugs in Bon Homme County. The officer at the scene also found a bag of marijuana, a marijuana pipe, and meth pipe. The police arrested him for possessing a controlled substance, concealing a weapon, unlawful ingestion of a controlled substance, all of which fall under Class 5 felonies.
Felonies under this class are punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $10, 000 upon conviction. In a separate incident, the law enforcement arrested a woman for possessing over 10 pounds of marijuana, THC edibles, and drug paraphernalia on January 16 this year.
In Lyman County, the police arrested a Minnesota philanthropist on February 4th this year for being in possession of THC. The police found a gram of THC shatter in his vehicle and arrested him for possession, which falls under a Class 5 felony that’s punishable by up to a 5-year imprisonment jail term and a fine of $10, 000 fine.
Teen Drug Arrests for Marijuana in SD
Last year, the police arrested four teens in Sioux Falls after a drug deal went wrong in November. According to reports, a 16 and 19-year old had planned to purchase marijuana from a 16 and 17-year old.
While nobody sustained an injury during the incident, the 19-year old faced first-degree robbery charges, firearm possession with a distorted serial number, aggravated assault, and possessing stolen property. The 16-year-old faced first-degree robbery charges and aggravated assault; the 17-year old faced firearm possession charges, paraphernalia, and marijuana possession with the intent to distribute.
In a separate incident, the police arrested three teens last year September following reports of fired shots at an apartment in Sioux Falls.
During the search, the police discovered between 7 and 71/2 grams of marijuana and numerous scales. The incident led to the arrest of a 19-year old for paraphernalia, marijuana possession, and intent to distribute.
Marijuana and methamphetamine are the dominant drugs in this state and the principal sources of local alcohol and drug rehabilitation enrollment. The state’s sequestered and remote geographical positioning has made the distribution of illegal substances relatively easy.
In fact, the state is plentiful with virtually every kind of conceivable narcotic yet it’s been facing challenges in formulating an inclusive institutional approach to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction care statewide.
Mexican DTOs mainly control illegal drug market in the state and the movement of the illegal drugs through South Dakota occurs mainly via private and commercial ground transportation.
In light of this problem, more alcohol and rehab facilities have emerged in an effort to tackle these problems and offer the residents a life that’s free of substance abuse.
Marijuana Abuse in South Dakota
The state’s southwest border sees the biggest quantity of marijuana trafficking, with federal and state intervention efforts revealing that huge quantities of the drug, at times totaling over 300 pounds commonly sell wholesale to autonomous distributors for statewide distribution.
In 2007, reports reveal that over 1, 400 residents of South Dakota checked into a rehabilitation facility for marijuana.
The three main marijuana varieties in SD are product originating from Mexico and smuggled through the southern states; Canadian product that finds its way into SD mostly through Illinois; as well as a higher-potency variety that undergoes cultivation in restricted runs and sold to particular customers in specified regions.
The Statistics of Marijuana Use in the U.S.
This is the most commonly used illegal drug according to a national survey and its use is more widespread among men than in women-the gender gap widened between 2007 and 2014. Research further reveals that its use is widespread among young adults and adolescents.
In fact, teens’ perceptions of the risks associated with marijuana use have declined steadily over the last decade, possibly because of the growing public debate about loosening restrictions or legalizing it for recreational and medicinal use.
In 2016, 9.4% of 8th graders reported using the drug the previous year while 5.4% reported current use. Among 10th graders, 23.9% reported using the previous year while 14% reported current use. User rates among 12th graders were even higher with 35.6% reporting use the previous year and 22.5% reported current use.
Medical emergencies probably associated with marijuana use have increased as well. It’s estimated that nearly 456, 000 drug-related emergency visits took place in the U.S. in 2011 during which medical records mentioned marijuana use (approximately 2/3 of patients were males aged between 12 and 17).
Nevertheless, it must be noted that marijuana mentions in medical records don’t necessarily signify that the emergencies had a direct relation to marijuana intoxication.
Other Important Statistics include:
- Results from the NSDUH or National Survey on Drug Use reveal that in 2013, almost 115 million Americans aged 12 or above used the drug at some point.
- Data gathered by the DAWN or Drug Abuse Warning Network indicate that between 2006 and 2010, a 59% increase in emergency visits involving marijuana took place.
- According to statistics by the DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration, drug-related rehab admissions increased by 14% between 2006 and 2010
Marijuana Statistics in Teens
According to the NSDUH, almost 2% of Americans aged 12 and above have some type of marijuana dependence. The drug also accounts for 67% of treatment admissions in adolescents. Other statistics reveal that most new users (67%) are below 18years.
Of these, 1 in every 6 will become drug dependent because adolescence is a critical period for brain development. Furthermore, this brain seeks pleasure but doesn’t always determine the outcomes of attaining such pleasure.
Teens and children are addiction-prone because their brain development isn’t fully complete throughout adolescence. Actually, children who try the drug are almost 10 times more probable to become dependent than adults.
Marijuana Use in Teens
Teen experimentation isn’t new and that includes marijuana’s consistent popularity. Easy to purchase, grow, and use, the drug is usually the initial choice drug for teenagers who need an outlet. The drug has an inconsistent reputation, particularly as the laws change fast around the country.
The plant-based substance is currently legal for medical use in 29 states yet a decade ago it was illegal nationwide. For numerous teenagers and their parents, the shift towards legalization implies that the drug is safe for use although this misconception is common.
Marijuana use among teens has produced various negative short and long-term effects. Additionally, adolescents abusing the drug may not know they’re in fact using synthetic marijuana which comes with numerous extra dangers.
Teens experiment with weed for various reasons-whether to fit in, cope with mental problems, or just wish to get high. While some teens will stick with marijuana, others will use it as a gateway to more dangerous drugs.
In relation to other illegal drugs, weed is very simple to access and most teenagers know numerous dealers or growers. Furthermore, they know how to buy it if desired. You’ll also find that they sell at decreased costs in comparison with more serious drugs and it features a low-risk purchasing process.
Teenagers who are especially interested in smoking it may feel motivated to grow theirs. If your teen is using this drug, some signs may be noticeable, particularly if he or she’s using within your home. The teen may appear euphoric, disoriented, sedated, or hyperactive. His or her words might not make sense or the teen may appear too astonished to speak.
Paranoid actions and bloodshot eyes can also signify drug use. Most teenagers avoid getting high around their guardians or parents, so behavioral signs will give a better way of identifying drug users. They include:
- Secretive behavior
- Isolation or depression
- An abrupt drop in academics
- Disinterest in activities and hobbies
- Sneaking around and lying
- Constantly asking for money
Drug paraphernalia could also signify drug use. This entails the apparent tools such as rolling papers, lighters, pipes, and bongs. Once you notice any of these signs, it’s advisable you seek the necessary treatment for your teenager. Remember, noticeable side effects can indicate abusive behavior, so the sooner you seek treatment, the better.
Marijuana Treatment for Teens
Treatment may be the best action course if you suspect your teen is using the drug. Bear in mind that addiction is a highly serious condition, and protracted use could cause enduring negative effects in his or her entire life.
Fortunately, safe and secure facilities run by nurses, therapists, and doctors with an emphasis on addiction medicine will ensure your teenager escapes the addiction cycle before it’s too late.
Treatment Options for Marijuana Teen Addicts
Early marijuana experimentation and other drugs is a strong indicator that a person will become involved with the legal system and will need to deal with substance abuse afterward.
Although obtaining help for your teen can feel disheartening, it’s possible to overcome the marijuana problem with a suitable rehabilitation facility. When a teen enters a rehab facility, his or her customized plan may entail the following:
- Medication Management
If co-occurring disorders accompany a teen’s marijuana abuse, the integration of psychotropic medication in his or her plan may be useful. Of course, the prescription will only take place when clinically suitable based on a careful evaluation of the teen’s assessment and the identified needs.
The patient will have an opportunity to partake in weekly meetings in the presence of a psychiatrist who will manage the medication with the help of a nurse.
- Individual Therapy
Led by qualified professionals, these sessions play a vital function in the therapeutic process by enabling the patient to share insights, practice intermingling with peers and adults in a healthy, respectful, and productive manner in addition to learning from others’ experience.
- Family Therapy
It’s imperative you seek a facility that appreciates the value of family in the treatment process and the continued recovery of teens or adolescents who’ve struggled with weed abuse.
- Recreational Therapy
Teens or adolescents receiving treatment for abuse can benefit from a dynamic and innovative approach that comprises a range of recreational opportunities. Under the supervision and guidance of a certified recreational therapist, teens or adolescents will have an opportunity to engage in community and in-house recreational opportunities a few times per week.
Recreational therapy functions as an effective complement to more conventional types of therapy by engaging teen patients in cultural, social, and physical accomplishments. Additionally, recreational therapy helps them recognize unknown talents, discover newfound interests and enhance their self-worth and self-esteem.
Marijuana Rehabilitation in South Dakota
The demand for drug rehabilitation programs for marijuana has increased as the number of persons using it throughout SD has increased as well. Over the last decades, several of the strains in SD currently generate the highest possible potency of THC concentration.
Currently, a small amount, for instance one smoke inhalation can leave somebody very intoxicated, whereas bigger quantities were necessary to generate a similar effect in the past.
Marijuana or otherwise known as “gateway drug” has driven many SD residents to seek professional treatment of other addictions, with many revealing that their early drug experimentation began with marijuana use before graduating to other drugs like heroin or cocaine.
Numerous users in the state are under the illusion that marijuana is comparatively harmless; the fact is that the mind-altering drug can potentially produce various negative effects, including the likelihood of developing a serious drug addiction.
The treatment programs in the state have reported a considerable increase in the number of persons seeking treatment for marijuana addiction in the last several years. Numerous studies reveal that chronic use of the drug could cause impaired coordination and other kinds of memory and learning problems.
Most people in SD are oblivious to the fact that the drug’s use can increase somebody’s heart rate for up to four hours after use, possibly resulting in acute anxiety. It’s approximated that users have a higher likelihood of experiencing a heart attack for up to two hours after smoking it; the cardiovascular risk is probably due to the arrhythmias and palpitations that are possible side effects that have reportedly been linked to marijuana use.
A quality SD rehab center can inform a person in recovery about the severe side effects that are directly associated with the drug’s use. Although every rehab center may provide different recovery approaches, most centers will comprise the following components:
For a person to overcome addiction successfully, he or she must first undergo detoxification. SD drug rehab centers use this process to eliminate the body toxins that have accumulated because of chronic use.
Once a person stops using the drug after the body has become accustomed, he or she will start experiencing a series of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during the detox process. Some of the symptoms include depression, nervousness, chills, diarrhea, nausea, and sweats.
The kinds of counseling that most often take place at a SD rehab program include individual, family, or group counseling. When it comes to individual counseling, the person may need to attend private sessions with a qualified counselor to help him or her get to the root causes of the addiction problem.
Numerous treatment centers also provide group sessions, which help the person form an emotional connection with others who share similar issues. In this kind of setting, people can unite and create healthy strategies that will help them sustain sobriety upon leaving the safe environment of the treatment center.
The intense group therapy that commonly forms part of an inpatient rehab program allows the person to speak honestly and openly concerning the fears that he or she has about leaving the center and living a marijuana-free life.
This component of a rehabilitation facility comprises a series of follow-up calls in which the counselor will continue encouraging the person to use the relapse prevention strategies that he or she learned previously while in treatment. These calls offer the perfect opportunity for a counselor to contact the person post-treatment.
Furthermore, the counselor will be in a position to establish dialogue where the individual can communicate honestly regarding the struggles and successes that he or she has experienced in the process of restarting his or her life.
When seeking a treatment center, it’s important you seek a quality program with a high success rate in treating persons with marijuana addiction.
Marijuana Rehabilitation Programs
Addiction is something that affects the lives of everybody it touches. Whether it’s you or a loved one who’s struggling with marijuana addiction, consider getting professional help. It’s comforting to know that different styles and kinds of marijuana facilities exist from which to choose.
It’s best you explore every option to determine the kind of program that suits your needs best. The most common kinds of treatment are residential or inpatient programs and outpatient programs.
Inpatient Rehab Facility
Inpatient facilities typically provide three major treatment programs with the ability to tailor programs to meet personal needs when required. These programs are usually available for 1-3 months and it’s important to understand that addiction is chronic, so relapse is possible.
Nevertheless, the 90-day residential programs provide the utmost promise of enduring success. These treatment centers range from medical settings that resemble or are joined to a conventional hospital to luxury settings.
You’ll find that they’re frequently situated in beautiful, tranquil surroundings. Bear in mind that a medical facility will offer the basics of meals and shelter but might not develop a homey atmosphere. They are frequently less costly than their counterparts are although they might still offer alternative therapies and CBT for treating marijuana addiction.
During treatment, plans will vary from one to the next. To some extent, the plans will also differ from one person to the next. After all, no two persons are identical and every addiction is unique. Therefore, the plans should be individual-based. It’s advisable to contact any facility you’re considering to discover what to expect throughout the treatment process.
Outpatient facilities can also be extremely successful in treating marijuana addiction and abuse. These kinds of facilities offer numerous benefits that residential programs might not, for instance:
- They enable the recovering addict to continue working in order to support his or her family
- They offer a means for the patient to continue caring for aging parents or minor children
- They permit the addict to select between night and day counseling and other plans
- The recovering addict will gain confidence through conquering daily temptation to use the drug
- While opting for this type of facility, beware that the individual may be subject to daily or random drug testing when obtaining treatment. Furthermore, continued treatment may be dependent on clean tests.
Challenges in Marijuana Recovery
Within the health field, skepticism around weed’s addiction potential raises questions as to whether the drug actually produces physical dependency among users. Nevertheless, certain major effects of the drug have become evident after more than a decade of research. They include:
- Similar to other addictive drugs, ongoing use of marijuana produces a withdrawal syndrome in users who decrease their dosage quantities or stop using it
- Within addiction recovery, withdrawal symptoms follow an expected course throughout the detox stage
- The drug’s effects on the brain’s integrated cannabinoid system are responsible for the addiction process
Marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning people start with marijuana as their drug of choice but eventually progress to other drugs. Therefore, those entering rehabilitation facilities typically have to deal with other addictions simultaneously, posing a difficult challenge for treatment facilities. This means that recovery programs should address every addiction the person has to ensure lasting and effective treatment.
Marijuana's Short-term Effects
Marijuana’s short-term effects are unpleasant and pleasant but aren’t similar for everybody. Rather, they differ depending on your experience, individual physiology, and the quantity consumed. The short-term effects emerge because THC moves fast from the lungs into the blood.
Short-term Effects on the Brain
Research has linked the drug to brain issues. For instance, it affects the spatial and working memory. Consequently, users find it hard to work mindfully or hold a thought after consumption of the drug.
The spatial memory comprises things like recalling where you left your keys or your way back from a new restaurant. Spatial memory will be effective especially during the high. Nevertheless, it isn’t uncommon to have a brain fog a day or so after heavy consumption of the drug.
Marijuana’s Long-term Effects
The drug’s long-term effects can result in adverse effects on learning and memory. Those who smoke it consistently from a young age are likely to experience cognitive impairment as grownups even if they no longer use the drug.
It’s also important to note that the long-term effects can be unpredictable. Long-term use could also lead to various unwanted effects, for instance, respiratory problems. Furthermore, it has been associated with some mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and may exacerbate symptoms in schizophrenics.
Effects on the Body
If you’re a habitual smoker, you have a higher likelihood of wheezing, coughing, and producing phlegm. Furthermore, you’re likely to experience lung infections and bronchitis. The drug may also aggravate existing illnesses, for instance, cystic fibrosis and asthma.
THC moves from the lungs into the bloodstream, resulting in an increased heartbeat by 20-50 beats per minute. The rapid heartbeat can last up to three hours. Beware that if you have a heart illness, you ‘re at risk for heart attack.
Smoking weed could cause some burning or stinging in your throat and mouth during inhalation. The drug could also cause digestive problems when consumed orally. For instance, oral THC could cause vomiting and nausea because of how processing occurs in the liver.
Central Nervous System
The drug’s effects extend throughout the CNS. For instance, THC alters the manner in which you process information in the hippocampus, resulting in possible impaired judgment. The hippocampus deals with memory, so you may have a difficult time forming new memories when you are high.
Alterations also occur in the basal ganglia and cerebellum, which have roles in balance and movement. Consequently, the drug may alter your coordination, balance, and reflex response. These changes imply that it’s unsafe to drive under the influence of weed. Huge doses or high THC concentrations could also cause delusions or hallucinations.
Depending on the kind of facility you choose, the expenses related to the treatment of marijuana addiction can range between moderate and extreme. An inpatient facility that offers luxury settings and a wide array of alternative therapies can cost as much as $20, 000 monthly or more.
Other inpatient facilities with moderate amenities may be less costly. It’s extremely difficult to establish the precise cost of a marijuana treatment facility because of the varying duration of stay for every person as well as the add-on expenses that the treatment might not include.
Outpatient programs are usually the most affordable and you’ll find that numerous insurers offer more benefits to insured persons for outpatient plans than for inpatient ones. Bear in mind however that insurers often have requirements that a person attempts outpatient plans before they consider issuing coverage for residential facilities.
Marijuana Drug Laws in South Dakota
Federal and state law regulates marijuana sale, possession, and manufacture. In South Dakota, the drug is unlawful with no recognized health use. Marijuana laws are undergoing rapid changes, with numerous states now permitting its use for medical purposes.
However, SD isn’t one of them. The state outlaws all kinds of marijuana possession and doesn’t recognize out-of-state medical prescriptions.
Possession of 2 oz. or less of the drug is a misdemeanor while any amount above 2 oz. is subject to felony-based penalties depending on the quantity.
Selling over an oz. of this drug is a felony, which carries a compulsory 30-day sentence. Any marijuana discovered in a vehicle results in a 90-day suspended license for first-time offenders.
The punishment for cultivation will depend on the plants’ aggregate weight-discovered as possession with distribution intent or simple possession.
Although a number of states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use, it’s still unlawful under federal laws. A first conviction attracts up to a 1-year jail term and a fine of $1, 000. A second offense attracts a minimum 15-day incarceration with a 2-year maximum jail term and a maximum fine of $2, 500.
On the other hand, a third and successive offense attracts a minimum 90-day jail term and maximum of 3 years and a fine of $5, 000. The cultivation and sale carry even higher punishment and fines under federal law.
A first-time offender can face a 5-year jail term and huge quantities could result in life imprisonment with a fine of 1 million dollars.
Penalties and Charges: Possession
For two or fewer ounces, penalties comprise a fine of up to $1, 000, a one-year jail term, or both. If the quantity is over 2 oz. but less than 11/2 pound penalties comprise a fine of up to $2, 000, a 2-year jail term, or both.
For possession that ranges between one and ten pounds, penalties comprise a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10-years imprisonment, or both while the possession of over 10 pounds attracts a fine of up to $10, 000, up to 15 years imprisonment, or both.
Distribution and Cultivation
The distribution of less than ½ oz. when given and not sold attracts penalties of up to one-year jail term, a fine of $2, 000 or both.
The penalties for 1 oz. or less include up to a fine of $ 1, 000, between 15 days and a-year imprisonment, or both
The penalties for 8 oz. or more but less than a pound include up to a fine of $5, 000, at least 5-years imprisonment, or both.
It’s unlawful to sell or manufacture drug paraphernalia in SD. Paraphernalia comprises items used in harvesting, growing, selling, using, or processing marijuana. Penalties differ in line with the violation.
Possessing or using paraphernalia with the intention to use falls under class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties comprise up to a fine of $1, 000, between 15-days and one-year imprisonment, or both.
Meth Addiction Problem
Meth addiction has increased considerably over the past decade and shows no indication of tapering. In fact, a 2009 national survey revealed that 1.2 million Americans over age 12 had abused methamphetamines.
Mexican meth is funneled from Arizona, Colorado, and California using different shipping techniques, including FedEx and the postal service.
Besides the widespread smuggling issue, homegrown labs running from small businesses and private homes produce restricted runs of high-purity merchandise for clients in their area. You find that domestic production has resulted in thefts, armed robberies, and break-ins of businesses that sell the essential ingredients for benign purposes, for instance, home maintenance and farming.
The Meth Epidemic and Scope of Abuse in the U.S.
The UNODC estimates the global production of amphetamine-type of stimulants, which comprises meth at almost 500 metric tons annually, with 24.7 million abusers. In 2008, the U.S. government reported that about 13 million persons over 12 years had used meth, out of which 529,000 were regular users.
In a 2007 report, 4.5% of American high school minors and 4.1% of 10th-grade students reported using meth at least once. According to a survey conducted by NSDUH in 2012, about 1.2 million reported using the drug in the previous year. The same report reveals that there were 133, 000 new meth users aged 12 or above in 2012. The average age of the new users was 19.7 years in 2012.
How Meth Works
- The Rush
The abuser feels this response initially when injecting or smoking the drug. During this phase, there’s an increase in the person’s heartbeat, blood pressure, metabolism, and pulse. Unlike the rush related to crack cocaine, which lasts about 2-5 minutes, the meth rush can last up to 30 minutes.
2. The High
Otherwise called “the shoulder,” this stage denotes one in which the abuser frequently feels aggressively intelligent and becomes argumentative, frequently disrupting others and completing their sentences.
The delusional effects can drive the user to focus intensely on a trivial task, for instance, cleaning the same window repeatedly for numerous hours. This phase can last 4-16 hours.
3. The Binge
A binge refers to uncontrolled drug or alcohol use. It describes the abuser’s urge to sustain the high by injecting or smoking more meth. It can last 3-15 days during which time the person becomes physically and mentally hyperactive.
Every time the abuser injects or smokes more of it, he or she experiences another rush, except smaller, until there’s no high and no rush.
A meth abuser is highly dangerous when experiencing this tweaking phase-a condition attained at the end of a binge when the drug no longer offers a high or rush. You’ll find that the abuser loses his or her identity once he or she’s incapable of relieving the terrible feelings of craving and emptiness.
Intense itching is widespread and a user can believe that there are crawling bugs under his or her skin. During this stage, the abuser can’t sleep for days, often leaving the person in a psychotic state.
Furthermore, the person experiences vivid hallucinations that appear real. Beware that the person can become dangerous and hostile to himself and others, increasing the possibility of self-mutilation.
5. The Crash
To the binge abuser, the crash arises when the body shuts down, incapable of coping with the overwhelming drug effects, resulting in a lengthy sleep period. In this phase, even the most violent abuser becomes virtually lifeless and the stage can last 1-3 days.
6. Meth Hangover
The abuser will typically return in a deteriorated state, dehydrated, starved, and highly exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally after experiencing a crash. Ordinarily, this phase lasts from 2-14 days, leading to enforced addiction.
Often 30-90 days can elapse after the previous drug use before the person recognizes that he or she’s in withdrawal. To begin with, the abuser becomes depressed, loses energy, and the capacity to experience pleasure.
Afterward, the craving for more meth hits, and the addict becomes suicidal. Meth withdrawal is extremely painful and difficult, so most revert. Consequently, a considerable portion of those undergoing conventional treatment revert to meth abuse.
Short-term Effects of Meth
When taken, the drug creates a false sense of energy and well-being, prompting the person to push his body further and faster than it’s supposed to go. As a result, users can experience a serious mental and physical breakdown once the drug’s effects wear off.
The user can also experience tremendous weight loss. Negative effects can comprise hyperactivity, power delusions, irritability, and nausea. In some instances, convulsions can arise, leading to death.
Long-term Effects of Meth
Meth users may not think past the present moment along with the high they obtain from using. However, for those contemplating rehabilitation, those in recovery, along with the loved ones, it’s important to recognize these possible long-term effects.
One of the most detrimental long-term effects that the drug has on the body is its effect on the body’s dopamine production. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s linked to the brain’s pleasure center. Persons who use the drug experience an increase in dopamine production (up to 4 times the ordinary amount).
In fact, constant exposure to unusually high dopamine levels destroys the brain’s dopamine receptors. That explains why the drug is addictive. To begin with, the user’s body craves the rush related to the drug, encouraging repeated drug use.
After a while, the body loses its capacity to identify dopamine since the receptors get overwhelmed and flooded. The outcome is that users don’t obtain the same rush they acquired initially when they first began using. The resulting disappointment and craving may drive them to use more of the drug in search of the high.
Another effect is that users have trouble experiencing pleasure-a feeling called dysphoria, which is prevalent among addicts. Similarly, meth abusers may experience symptoms similar to those with Parkinson’s disease. They include memory loss, impaired judgment, and deterioration of coordination and motor skills.
Although some evidence suggests that dopamine receptors may regrow over time in users, the damage is often permanent in numerous cases. The dysphoria linked to meth abuse contributes to the difficulty individuals have in breaking their drug addiction.
For apparent reasons, the brain and body crave the dopamine rush that accompanies meth use. This can lead even those with a strong determination and willpower to use the drug in spite of their best intentions. Keep in mind that the likelihood of enduring brain damage is severe and the effect meth has on the brain is potentially life-changing and profound.
The body comprises various interconnected systems, all of which function together to help us sustain good health. When something affects one system negatively, it can influence others. The same applies to meth use and the immune system.
Under ordinary circumstances, the immune system protects the body against infections and diseases. However, the bodies of regular meth users lose the ability to defend themselves against disease. As a result, they’re more vulnerable to getting infections and viruses compared to the general population.
The effects can be more severe because there’s an increased likelihood of heart disease and other severe problems. The liver also faces the risk of severe damage as the major detoxification organ in the body.
The brain chemistry has a huge role to play in human behavior, so it’s not surprising that prolonged meth use can produce behavioral changes, some of which are dramatic and severe. A common behavioral change is sexual promiscuity among addicts.
This arises from the fact that the drug lowers inhibition, leading to an increased incidence of high-risk sexual behavior. Such behavior may in turn increase the likelihood of HIV/AIDS infection and other STDs. Studies reveal that meth users exhibit an increase in aggression and anger as well.
A common hallmark of meth use is the deterioration of the addict’s physical appearance. To begin with, persons who use the drug continuously frequently end up with “meth mouth,” which is typified by severe tooth decay. Numerous factors contribute to this condition, including:
- Meth abuse dries out the user’s salivary glands. Remember, saliva keeps our mouth lubricated and bacteria at bay.
- Regular meth use causes the shrinkage of blood vessels, including those in the mouth. The gums and teeth require a steady supply of oxygen and blood to remain healthy, failure to which they decay.
- The manufacture of the drug includes hydrochloric acid-a very corrosive substance. When users smoke it, the acid contacts their teeth, causing enamel erosion
- Meth users frequently crave sweets, which when combined with a neglected dental hygiene, can hasten tooth decay.
Blood vessel constriction can also lead to considerable skin problems. Users are likely to see all or any of these:
- Increased acne outbreaks
- A loss of skin elasticity
- Yellowing and drying of the skin
The outcome is that numerous users end up looking decades or years older than they actually are. The loss of skin elasticity in comparatively young people could leave them looking haggard and old after protracted meth use.
Meth use can affect appearance in various negative ways, but weight loss is one of the most dangerous. Weight loss might appear like a good thing on the surface, but it’s very risky with methamphetamines. The fact is that the drug causes appetite suppression, and for numerous persons, the concept of using it for weight loss is appealing.
You’ll find that numerous people who end up as addicts began using the drug as a means of weight loss. There are more dangers to using the drug for weight loss. Bear in mind that the body requires a certain degree of fat to be healthy.
Furthermore, subcutaneous fat protects the bones and body against injury, so extreme weight loss can be extremely harmful to your health. Similarly, not eating or consuming mostly junk food and sweets as is the case with some users-can result in vitamin deficiencies or even malnutrition.
The Effects of Meth on the Central Nervous System
The CNS comprises the spinal cord and brain. It acts as the body’s main relay station and it’s involved in the regulation, actions, and maintenance of virtually each bodily function. The various damaging effects linked to chronic meth use include:
Increased Death of Neurons
Meth use is associated with a reduction in the number of CNS neurons. Beware that CNS’s ability to regenerate the neurons is restricted and in numerous instances, neuron loss is unrecoverable. Neuronal death arises in various brain areas, including
- The hippocampus
The vital structure has the ability to learn and remember new information.
- The cerebellum
This area controls different movement aspects and is involved in various cognitive functions
- The prefrontal and frontal cortex
These brain areas are vital in human cognition, especially in complex attention, reasoning, and problem solving
- Cytoskeletal damage
Meth use also damages the cells’ support system, and this could lead to cellular collapse if there’s considerable damage of the support structures
Damage to the brain’s central nervous system
Meth use affects the arteries, veins, and capillaries in the CNS, resulting in an increased likelihood of the person having a stroke. CNS strokes often fall under the classification of hemorrhagic or ischemic. Ischemic strokes arise because of blood depletion to certain brain areas and accumulation of tissue damage because of diminished oxygen over time.
Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, emerge because of the breaking of a vein or artery in the brain and the ensuing blood flow reduction to the brain tissues. Hemorrhagic strokes tend to be more acute and recovery is usually more robust compared to recovery from ischemic strokes. Both types of strokes can arise due to chronic meth abuse, presenting a very complex issue.
Reduced white matter
Persons who abuse drugs like meth are frequently at a higher risk of having accidents or being involved in assaults that result in traumatic brain injury. Obviously, the combination of a chronic meth use and traumatic brain injury will produce various potentially severe neurological problems.
Meth Statistics in South Dakota
As the cost for crystal meth continues to decrease, more local communities are increasingly growing concerned that adults and teens are using it to get high. Reports reveal that meth-related arrests increased by 25% from 2009.
Reports further reveal that about 331 persons went into custody in 2009 for using the illegal substances while over 440 arrests took place in South Dakota. In Pennington County, meth was the 4th most popular drug discovered in busts. Experts cite that although the crime rate associated with meth is high, numerous persons have turned against running their labs.
SD law officials believe that most of the meth being used across the Midwestern state is imported. Other reports reveal that more than 2, 000 faced incarceration for meth in the state. Across the rest of SD, meth arrests nearly tripled from 32 in 2009 to 89 in 2010, with most of the arrests taking place in the southeastern corner of the state although Brown County reported 14 arrests in the northeast.
In SD, arrests for meth increased from 1, 500-2, 100 from 2014-2015. Consequently, police state that violent crime has increased along with prison populations in spite of legislation set in 2013 to slow the increase of the inmate population by increasing community service for non-violent criminals.
Methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth, ice, or chalk is a powerfully addictive drug that’s often abused by smoking, snorting, or injecting. When used, the drug produces a powerful euphoria feeling, frequently known as a rush. It’s very easy to become a meth addict, with reports revealing that about 600,000 people in the U.S. use the drug in any given month.
The drug is addictive mainly due to its dopamine influence in major brain areas, causing the dramatic increase in activity levels during drug use. Once the brain obtains such a huge dopamine hit (a neurotransmitter involved in reward and pleasure feelings), you experience an intense euphoria rush linked to the drug.
As with numerous pleasurable feelings, it’s something someone would want to experience repeatedly, so the addict would in turn use more meth to obtain that gratification. However, the drug becomes less efficient over time in generating a similar euphoria level since the brain builds up a drug tolerance, meaning it gets accustomed to its presence, therefore; it doesn’t register as novel and thrilling as before.
Consequently, you’ll require higher meth doses to attain the rush you’ve come to anticipate from the drug. As soon as addiction sets in, you’ll probably continue using the drug in spite of any resulting negative consequences, including legal, social, and physical ramifications.
Detoxing from Meth
Compared with the possibly dangerous detox related substances such as sedatives and alcohol, meth detoxification is a comparatively straightforward process and seldom results in health complications or life-threatening circumstances.
Instead, the emotional aspects of withdrawal and detox prove challenging. The most common withdrawal complication of the drug is severe depression whose treatment is possible through antidepressants. Other common withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, cravings, fatigue, and irritability.
Unlike other drugs, which require numerous medications to manage withdrawal and detox (for instance heroin), no approved medications exist for use during meth detox. The most common physical symptom is insomnia whose management can occur easily with sleep medication if necessary or relaxation techniques.
In spite of the lack of serious complications or physical symptoms associated with meth withdrawal, quitting the drug can be difficult, particularly without help. The emotional withdrawal aspects can prove very challenging for most individuals to cope with singlehandedly without considerable supervision and emotional support.
As a result, the drug has a high rate of relapse. Another hurdle to quitting meth is that numerous users report a binge-and-crash use cycle. Depressed feelings typically follow the rush from the drug use, prompting the addict to use more meth to feel good again.
However, the addict can’t take more drugs during detox to prevent the crash. Therefore, the person might experience difficulty coping with the loss of those pleasant feelings only to feel desperate to reuse the drug. For this reason, it’s imperative you find the suitable treatment facility-one experienced in managing and anticipating any hard withdrawal obstacles.
After deciding to enter a program, a mental or health clinician skilled in addiction will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to establish the best treatment course depending on your needs. Short-term detoxification programs are usually inpatient and last for 3-7 days until the body eliminates itself off the meth.
Nurses and doctors usually oversee the withdrawal symptoms and modify the treatment to keep you comfortable. From here, most persons shift to a longer-term program. Inpatient programs offer around-the-clock supervision and support from both mental and medical health experts.
Whether hospital-based or other residential environments, inpatient offer a safe haven, which removes a patient from his or her using environment, allowing him or her to start healing safely from the addiction.
The duration in a residential program typically lasts from 30-90 days and entails therapy groups, educational classes, family, individual counseling sessions with the goal of helping individuals understand their addiction besides learning, and practicing new skills that will help them maintain sobriety once they go back home.
An inpatient program is also a great choice when you have a co-occurring addiction, for instance to opioids or alcohol because these conditions typically produce additional complications, which you can navigate by the help of health providers.
While some people enroll in comparatively intensive outpatient plans as their main means of meth rehabilitation, others enroll in an outpatient program as a step-down choice once initial residential program ends.
In either case, you return home but go to the treatment center 3-5 times per week to attend counseling and therapy sessions. This will reinforce the skills you’ve learned. Treatment programs offer various counseling approaches, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common.
This approach teaches how feelings are connected to actions and thoughts while giving you solid measures to take to restructure negative thoughts and generate more positive actions.
You’ll also attend peer groups, for instance, 12-step programs, which offer a platform for building significant relations with others who’ve been through comparable experiences with meth addiction. Once you finish formal treatment and shift into the aftercare stage, you can continue attending your support or 12-step group indefinitely.
Challenges Facing Addicts in Recovery
Addiction recovery can be difficult, but chronic use of meth affects the brain, making recovery very challenging. Some of the challenges include:
- Users have cognitive deficits and extremely low mood throughout the initial abstinence period. The drug compromises concentration, memory, and decision-making skills severely, making it more difficult for recovering addicts to adhere to treatment directions and abide by treatment recommendations.
- Recovery takes a considerable time, and some of the damage is irreversible. Some users will begin seeing considerable improvements after a year or so, but waiting that long to begin feeling better can be extremely challenging when combined with strong drug cravings.
At approximately 45 days of sobriety, numerous addicts experience an increase in depressive symptoms and find it extremely hard to experience pleasure. Unless the individual is ready for the abrupt symptom intensification, relapse is possible.
Principles of Efficient Meth Addiction Treatment
Meth addicts gain considerably when engaged in programs meant to compensate for some of the emotional and cognitive deficits that arise during prolonged meth withdrawal. Some of the principles of efficient meth treatment include:
- Treatment should provide highly intensive and structured programming, and must meet needs in every area of life
- If the treatment is initially residential, the program must provide an intensive and lengthy ongoing aftercare program
- Treatment must last at least three months or a year if possible
- Treatment programs must offer CBT as a major treatment technique
- Treatment must comprise a considerable relapse prevention constituent, which teaches how to prevent temptation and manage occurring cravings.
- Treatment must comprise life-skills training
- Programs must help recovering patients get back on their feet through educational or vocational classes and employment opportunities
- Treatment must address any deficits arising from meth use (for instance nutritional deficiencies or dental problems) and should provide referrals for direct care or essential treatment.
Effective Meth Treatments
Some established treatments that help recovering addicts include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
The evidence-based approach teaches addicts to understand the situations and people that trigger cravings, their reasons for meth use, how to prevent cravings, and ways of dealing with the emerging cravings.
The approach provides real-world strategies and techniques that are practical and proven. The approach must be an essential element of any comprehensive meth treatment program
- Family Involvement
Meth addicts who remain in treatment have a better chance compared to those who leave early. According to research, family participation in the treatment process extends the duration the addict spends in treatment.
After all, family members can offer invaluable support, especially during initial recovery, when emotional and cognitive deficits may make compliance challenging.
The program should also include education where addicts learn about the drug, its effect on the brain and body, the features of meth addiction recovery and relapse as well as the psychiatric and physiological implications of abstinence; such addicts have a higher likelihood of staying involved in treatment than those who don’t obtain this education.
- Contingency Reinforcement
Therapists who use the principals of contingency reinforcement use rewards as a means of positive reinforcement for fulfilling treatment goals. Rewards are usually vouchers for items such as movie tickets, which patients receive after positive events, for instance, a clear drug test. These positive rewards help enhance treatment retention, which is very crucial.
Meth Addiction in Teens
Meth addiction in teens presently has a solid grip on numerous adolescents that live in inner cities and suburbs across the United States. The probable reason for this is that numerous teens frequently become troubled as they start struggling with puberty-related emotional baggage.
At times, the depressed or stressed adolescents will start experimenting with meth to escape from reality. Since the drug is highly addictive, even casual users may be at a high risk of developing a teen addiction problem.
Actually, few drugs can upset an adolescent’s future faster than meth. Meth addiction among teens has become commonplace in numerous areas across the U.S. According to reports from several quality treatment facilities, teens that attend rehab for the drug addiction reported that using meth frequently made them feel invincible.
The drug will attract numerous female teens initially because of an intense desire for weight loss; other teens have reported taking the drug to stay awake all night to study for exams or party.
The different methods through which teens can obtain the drug vary; they have oftentimes reported that friends, relatives, or schoolmates introduced them to the potentially deadly and toxic stimulant. Meth addiction not only places an adolescent at risk for drug dependence.
It could also cause various side effects, including a heightened risk of a possible heart attack and a stroke incidence in otherwise healthy teens. Numerous studies associated with meth addiction in teens have concluded that some of the cognitive brain damage that has been directly associated with the drug is in numerous instances, irreversible.
The chronic meth use has frequently been reported to produce inflammation in the heart’s lining; additionally, the psychosis episodes in teens will frequently persist for several years after the teen has discontinued the drug use.
Spotting a Meth Teen User
Meth users are frequently driven to use the drug daily to continue experiencing the desired rush but at the same time to prevent the letdown that follows the rush. Tolerance, dependence, and addiction can emerge fast, at times after some uses.
This implies that a teen who’s abusing meth will dangerously increase the drug’s quantity in an urgent attempt to maintain the rush, making it all the more necessary for him or her to obtain professional help as fast as possible.
Some of the signs of a teen user include decreased appetite, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, and tooth decay among others. While meth use can cause considerable harm to anybody, it can be especially destructive in teenagers, who may experience functional and structural brain changes as well as enduring brain damage.
An overdose takes place when a person takes more of the drug than his or her body can tolerate-whether accidentally or intentionally. Most meth-related deaths arise when a heatstroke occurs, resulting in multiple organ failure. An overdose could also produce a sharp increase in blood pressure, resulting in hemorrhage and liver failure.
An overdose can take place at comparatively low drug levels (50 milligrams of pure meth for non-tolerant users). There’s no way of foreseeing a “safe” level of meth use since everybody’s metabolic rates differ and the drug’s strength varies across batches.
The common signs of meth overdose include agitation, hallucinations, slow or rapid heartbeat, seizures, and psychosis. The odds of recovery upon experiencing an overdose depend on the amount of drug taken and the rate at which the person receives treatment.
While it’s possible to come back after an overdose, it’s important that the person obtains immediate medical attention. If you suspect somebody is suffering from an overdose, call 911 immediately and take measures to keep the individual safe until the arrival of emergency care.
While waiting for the arrival of the medical team, you can help the user in various ways, including:
- If the person is having a seizure, hold the back of his or her head gently to prevent him or her from hurting himself or herself
- If the person is overheated, put compresses on the chest and face to maintain a low body temperature
- Ensure you remove any sharp objects because seizing or agitated users may injure others or themselves
Life-threatening overdoses can be rather traumatic to survivors; some reportedly suffer from psychosis and paranoia for even a year. Other resulting effects from chronic meth abuse, for instance, memory problems, insomnia, and dental changes may last even longer, if not permanently.
Meth Overdose Statistics
According to CDC, 3, 728 people died from meth overdoses in 2014 and over 4, 500 died in 2015. According to reports, meth use increased from 3% in 2010 to 4% in 2015.
Reports further reveal that the drug has become prevalent in considerable portions in the South and Midwest. For instance, over 300 overdose deaths took place in 2016 in Oklahoma. According to state data, West Virginia witnessed a record number of fatal meth overdoses, increasing by 500% in 2017 since 2014.
In particular, 30 residents of Kanawha died of meth-related overdoses last year followed by Cabell County, which recorded 28 deaths. Statewide, there have been up to 130, 000 annual emergency visits related to meth overdose, out of which nearly 15% were fatalities.
Resolving Meth Addiction or Abuse in Teens
A meth teen user or addict should undergo treatment as soon as possible through expert, inpatient rehabilitation facilities. A teenager who seeks to recover from addiction or abuse will have to work through difficult withdrawal symptoms, for instance, anxiety, severe agitation, and intense cravings as part of his or her detoxification, which occurs best under medical supervision.
After detox, the teenager will have to resolve the several effects and causes of his or her drug use while laying the foundation for an optimistic and healthier future. It can be a lengthy, challenging journey to total recovery and the teenager will require all the encouragement and support.
South Dakota Inpatient Rehabilitation Program
Most of the inpatient facilities in the state mirror the 12-step approach, which has been successful for countless people. Once you become a resident, the first thing you’ll go through is detox after which you’ll proceed to different types of therapy.
The treatment you’ll obtain is personalized and based on significant factors such as age, substance history, gender, relationships, mental, and physical health. The competently trained personnel will help you through assessments in an effort to develop a treatment program especially for you.
After completing detox, your stay as an inpatient resident can be long or short, usually lasting from 6-60 weeks as required. A mental health evaluation is another component of the process along with in-depth sessions like medication management and psychiatric consultations.
Outpatient Rehabilitation Program
Various convenient options exist with most SD addiction programs. The most common options involve constant care groups, day treatments and thorough outpatient programs. The constant care groups usually meet once or twice weekly for some hours while the intensive program typically meets several days per week for up to 4 hours.
On the other hand, day treatment plans can be up to six days per week with every session lasting numerous hours. All these sessions are available during the evening or day, allowing the patient to balance treatment with his or her responsibilities at home and work.
Residing near the treatment facility can make the outpatient plan the ideal transition from an inpatient resident to recommencing normal life. An outpatient program is also ideal for persons who need to continue working while obtaining treatment.
Sober Living Homes-South Dakota
Once you complete an inpatient program, this is the last recovery stage before living independently again. Residing in a community with others who are on a similar path can be very helpful for sustaining sobriety.
This supportive environment helps you apply and develop the lessons learned from peers and counselors along the recovery journey. These homes can serve as a safety net and be the ideal place to address possible triggers or the life challenges you might face while you’re on your own.
The homes are available for a long or short-term stay and act as a stage to integrate your newly attained skills into your daily schedule.
Long-term Residential Programs
While a number of states are doing better at tackling the war on drugs, none has been able to eradicate drugs completely from their population and SD is no exception.
The biggest issue with addiction is that those who aren’t addicted don’t understand the problem. To them, the solution is simply leaving the drugs. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Most addicts have tried quitting drugs, and while some have tried doing so severally, they’ve never quite succeeded. The reason is that when it comes to drug addiction, the individual is in fact, dealing with a mental sickness, which requires professional help.
The best way of getting over an addiction is enrolling in one of South Dakota’s residential programs. The major advantage of this program is that there’s no way the person can access drugs during the program’s duration.
Cutting the patient off the drugs completely is one of the ways these programs work. They also take the addict through a series of intense counseling sessions that explore how the person got addicted in the first place and how they can become drug-free.
90-day Treatment Programs
Slightly more than 12 different rehabilitation facilities throughout SD provide a 90-day residential program. Most, if not all centers are live-in facilities where the patient stays throughout the entire duration of his program.
These environments are normally distraction-free and offer various treatment methods that obviously differ across centers. While the cost varies for every treatment facility, most programs in the state accept health coverage.
These providers include Medicaid and Medicare together with other state-funded insurance. Some facilities are low-cost while others even provide free rehabilitation while private facilities require self-payment.
Almost all the meth sold and used in the U.S. is unlawful. Consequently, enforcement agencies across the nation have focused their efforts on intercepting the chemicals used in the creation of meth.
Meth falls under a schedule II substance; these classes of drugs have a pharmaceutical use but are also hazardous besides having a high probability of abuse. The prescription of this drug is infrequent because it contains very addictive properties.
Furthermore, the development of laws has taken place to contain not only the drug’s use and manufacture but those involved in its creation as well. In particular, the development of The Patriot Act occurred to restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine.
The drug threat is one that continues to affect the society nationwide, and South Dakota is no exception. Nevertheless, the state is striving to address this problem through various means, including rehab facilities, which offer hope to the many addicts who are trying to get back on their feet.