We haven’t heard a lot about meth since Breaking Bad ended last fall, but it is still out there, ruining lives. A snapshot from Oregon tells the story of how much meth is intertwined with both crime rates and the lives of those who don’t even use the drug.
Meth use in Oregon went down a decade ago, with the changes that put pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter. But police officers have seen the numbers climb back to near 2004 levels. After years of finding meth labs that contaminated whole houses, most meth now is imported. A new report by the California attorney general said that 70 percent of meth in the United States comes from Mexico and gets in through California. Oregon is right next door, ready to receive it.
Even with meth addiction, there is a connection to the rise in prescription opiate abuse. Police say that many meth addicts are people who start abusing prescription painkillers and then switch to meth when their prescription access runs out.
The quantity of meth seized by task forces in Oregon tripled between 2009 and 2012, and that didn’t even include the amounts confiscated by patrol officers. In 2011, nearly one-quarter of the people arrested in Portland tested positive for meth. From a police standpoint, meth is the drug most responsible for property-related crime, violent crime and neglected children.
That last item shows how meth is messing up lives for those who never touched it, too. A new study found cognitive deficits in 7-year-olds who had been exposed to meth before they were born. Meth can restrict nutrients and development of the fetus. Previous studies of the effects of prenatal meth have shown lower IQ scores, more aggressive behavior and worse school performance of children exposed to it.
Is meth a problem for you or a loved one? Lakeview can help. Call our intake counselors 24/7 at 866.704.7692 for help getting to rehab right now. Put yourself in the right part of the story, of meth use declining.
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