“We all understand the horrific impact that methamphetamine and other illegal drugs have on each and every individual who uses these substances. Many become addicted, lives are ruined, families are disrupted, and those in search of those illegal drugs often commit property crimes to fund their addiction.”
~ United States Attorney for the District of Idaho Wendy Olsen, calling methamphetamine trafficking the “biggest drug problem faced by Idaho”
Call it what you will – crank, crystal, speed, ice – methamphetamine is a intensely-addictive drug that destroys lives. According to the Idaho Meth Project, meth is the top drug choice and the #1 illicit drug problem in the state of Idaho.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine – meth – is a powerful stimulant that typically comes in two forms:
- a white, crystalline powder that is either snorted, swallowed, or injected
- crystals that look like shards of glass or rock candy that are smoked in a glass pipe
Immediately after snorting, swallowing, smoking, or injecting methamphetamines the user will feel an intense euphoric rush of excitement and pleasure that will last no more than half an hour.
To avoid coming down – “crashing” – users will binge on the drug again and again until they either collapse or run out of money.
Every single time a person uses methamphetamines, the drug can cause significant – potentially permanent – physical and psychological damage, including:
- anxiety/depression/unpredictable behavior
- extreme sleeplessness
- compulsive physical activity, including the performance of meaningless, repetitive tasks
- loss of appetite/extreme weight loss
- dilated pupils
- dangerously-high body temperature/sweating
- extremely dry mouth/cracked teeth/horrific tooth decay – “meth mouth”
- skin infections
- increased blood pressure
- damaged nerves within the brain
Heavy use of methamphetamines can cause serious complications in a relatively short period of time:
- psychotic behavior/extreme risk of violence
- heart infections
- damage to lungs/kidneys/liver
- lead poisoning
- brain damage resembling Alzheimer’s
- needle users will face an increased risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
Meth users will also experience an almost surreal change in appearance. Meth usage causes the body’s blood vessels to constrict, cutting off the blood flow, which in turn weakens blood vessels and makes it harder for the body to heal itself.
So, while a meth addict may feel more attractive, desirable, and confident, the drug is actually destroying their appearance.
Brett King, a deputy from neighboring Oregon’s Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department, says, “Some people I have in here over 100 times, and I can look over a 10, 15, 20-year period and see how they’ve deteriorated, how they’ve changed. Some were quite attractive when they began to come to jail – young people who were full of health and had everything going for them… And now they’re a shell of what they once were.”
The Reality of Methamphetamines in Idaho
Because of its unique geography, a huge flow of illegal drugs arrives in the state – including methamphetamines. Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donohue says, “There are numerous routes. It’s going to go north, it’s going to go west, it’s going to go east, but ultimately for us in Idaho, it’s going to land in the treasure Valley.”
The Idaho State Police released their statewide drug and alcohol report in July 2016, and it revealed that 38.9% of all charges for transporting/importing drugs in the years 2006-2013 involved methamphetamines. That is higher than any other drug – including marijuana. Because of that, Canyon and Ada Counties have been designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA).
Other telling statistics about methamphetamines in Idaho include:
- Among Idaho teenagers, 20% see no risk in experimenting with meth once or twice
- One-quarter of Idaho teenagers and 38% of Idaho young adults think that meth is a good weight-loss method
- 4 out of 5 deprived-child placements made by Idaho Health and Welfare are because of drug abuse. Meth is the most commonly-involved drug.
- Three-quarters of male offenders with a drug problem self-report that meth is their drug of choice.
- Over 60% of Idaho felons in drug court say that meth is their drug of choice.
- The State of Idaho spends $66 million a year to house mail inmates who self-report having a meth problem.
There is no mistaking it – methamphetamine is a brutal killer, and if you or someone you care about has a problem with this dangerous stimulant, it is absolutely imperative that help is sought immediately.
If you or someone you care about has a problem with methamphetamines or any other illicit drug, contact Ashwood Recovery today – the most-trusted name in Boise, Idaho, outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.
Using a comprehensive evidence-based treatment strategy, the professionals at Ashwood Recovery offers the most complete program of recovery in the region, allowing suffering addicts, alcoholics, and their families to get the help they need to regain control of their lives.