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The Methamphetamine Crisis Hiding Behind the Opioid Epidemic

By: Carol Morriscey

The Opioid Epidemic has consumed the media, with endless headlines of escalating opioid use and soaring overdoses. The Opioid Epidemic has consumed the media, with endless headlines of escalating opioid use and soaring overdoses. This has become a familiar topic, saturating our conversations surrounding drug use. However, while we’ve been focusing all of our attention on the opioid epidemic, another crisis has been brewing, with barely any attention paid to it. Use of a highly addictive and dangerous drug, methamphetamine, has been rapidly rising. ‘Uppers’ such as methamphetamine and cocaine, result increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and a burst of energy. These have the opposite effect of sedative such as opioids, which result in drowsiness, slowed breathing, and euphoria. Methamphetamine use and addiction has serious, sometimes fatal side effects, and it’s growing use in Canada should not be overshadowed by the opioid epidemic any longer.

Canada’s Methamphetamine Addiction

Over the past decade, the use of methamphetamine has increased perilously. Use of methamphetamine in Vancouver is 7 times what it was ten years ago. Contrary to media reports, meth injections occurred at a higher rate than heroin injections in a group of street-involved individuals in Victoria. This illustrates the conspicuous absence of methamphetamine addiction in media reports. The increasing rates of meth use in Canada can likely be traced to several factors. First, there has been a dramatic drop in price, allowing easier access to the dangerous drug. Meth production has migrated south of the American border, to labs in Mexico. Following this migration the cost of a pure gram crashed down from almost $300, to as low as $66. Not only has the production of meth in Mexican labs led to a price decrease, but it has also allowed the manufactures to create a more pure, potent product. In comparison to an prescription opioid addiction which can cost upwards of $100 a day to maintain, a meth addiction can cost as little as $5 a day to maintain.

Canada’s Cocaine Addiction

Along with methamphetamine addiction, the use of other ‘uppers’ such as cocaine present a significant problem for Canada’s population. A Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse report states that maritime youth have the highest rates of youth of cocaine. Over five percent of Newfoundland and Labrador youth (grades 7-12) reported using cocaine in the past year, more than two times the national average. However, the other coast of Canada has seen a steady decline in cocaine injections from 2010 to 2015 at Insite, Vancouver’s supervised-injection site. There has been a drop in price parallel to meth’s discounts. The price of cocaine has plummeted 80% since the early 1990s’ while purity has continued to increase. The increase in purity and decrease in price, makes a more potent high more affordable, increasing the likelihood of an addiction.

Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment

Methamphetamine withdrawal is associated with many severe and dangerous symptoms, such as seizures, narcolepsy, and stroke. Therefore, attending a drug rehab is an important step in achieving a safe meth detox, and achieving sobriety. Unlike Suboxone and methadone for opioid withdrawal and recovery, there are no such drugs for methamphetamine addiction treatment. Research into creating drugs to aid in meth addiction treatment is ongoing, and there is hope for the future. For the time being, having well-trained medical staff supporting you through your meth detox is essential for a safe recovery. Sobriety Home has a team of well-trained professionals to aid in methamphetamine detox, and continued sobriety.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

For many, combatting a cocaine addiction is extremely challenging, and drug rehab is necessary for them to achieve their goal of sobriety. Sobriety home has a specialized cocaine addiction treatment program, allowing individuals to customize their treatment to perfectly fit their needs. Through the use of traditional treatments such as cognitive therapy, and other non-traditional treatments such as native healing circles and laughter therapy, Sobriety Home offers every individual suffering from cocaine addiction the opportunity for recovery.

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