Methamphetamine (also called meth, speed, crank, chalk, trash and many other names) is making its way back into the public conversation with the release of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie on Netflix. While fans are eager to spend more time with Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Florida’s resurging meth problem is much more concerning than thrilling.
Meth use had taken somewhat of a backseat to other drugs in Florida in recent years. The opioid crisis hit the state hard with prescription painkiller abuse. Many of those users may have moved onto heroin or fentanyl as regulations tightened. In south and central Florida, cocaine is still largely the drug of choice. However, meth is threatening north Florida and the panhandle area with an epidemic of its own.
How is Meth Use Impacting Florida?
According to Florida Medical Examiners, nearly 10% of the state’s meth-related deaths in 2017 occurred in northwest Florida. This area saw more deaths due to methamphetamine use than cocaine, fentanyl or heroin. Statewide, the number of meth-related deaths increased by nearly 40% over the previous year.
This is in part because of how addictive crystal meth is. According to Leon County Sheriffs Deputy Michael Wallace, who was interviewed by WFSU, he had known an individual who gave up crack because meth was so much stronger.
This single example foreshadowed the trouble Florida law enforcement has continued to have with meth addiction. On top of its addictive properties, meth’s easy means of production make it difficult for law enforcement to track meth users and distributors.
What Makes Meth So Addictive and Dangerous?
You don’t have to be a chemist like Breaking Bad’s antihero Walter White to make meth. It can be produced with materials found in many homes. Meth labs across Florida and outside drug traffickers are able to manufacture the drug cheaply and flood the market with a substance that produces powerful highs.
Easy access and euphoria that lasts longer than effects of cocaine combine to make meth highly desirable for some, despite its devastating effects on the body and brain. Crystal meth’s incredibly addictive nature makes it difficult to stop once you start.
Is Your Loved One Using Meth?
Has your loved one seemingly lost interest in maintaining relationships or hobbies? Are they struggling in work or go to school? Once meth use begins, it very quickly becomes the user’s top priority.
Other typical signs of meth use may include:
- Burns on the hands or lips
- Difficulty sleeping followed by long periods of sleep
- Dilated pupils
- “Meth Mouth” (extreme tooth damage and decay)
- Mood swings
- Paranoid or delusional thoughts
- Rapid weight loss
- Sores or lesions
- Twitch, jerky movements
If your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms and you suspect they’re using meth, it’s imperative that you get them treatment right away. Meth addiction is dangerous and your loved one may not realize that they’re gambling with their life every time they use crystal meth. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we provide meth addiction treatment that uses evidence-based and holistic therapies to help your loved one overcome meth abuse and get to the bottom of why they started using in the first place.
Meth Addiction Treatment at Footprints Beachside Recovery
Florida residents throughout the entire state trust Footprints Beachside Recovery because we know what it’s like to battle addiction and come out the other side. We’re well-equipped to help your loved one deal with any complicating factors that might be occurring alongside meth addiction like depression, anxiety or unresolved trauma. If relapse has been an issue in the past, this dual diagnosis approach can help keep your loved one’s recovery on track.
Talking about meth addiction can be challenging. Call one of our compassionate addiction treatment professionals today to start the conversation and begin healing your family from the damage crystal meth has caused.