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Methamphetamine (meth) use is growing and spreading all across the United States and this is no different in Ohio. Of 42,211 Ohio residents surveyed, 122 admitted to meth use. This may not sound like much, but one must remember that the survey was only of a sampling of Ohio residents. Overall state figures may be much higher.

Methamphetamine is one of more dangerous drugs of abuse, and its danger is two-fold. Meth is not only immediately addictive; full-blown addiction occurs after the first use, it is a totally synthetic substance, and as such must be manufactured.

This makes meth totally different than other substances of abuse such as alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or heroin (the other drugs that were included in this survey.) All of the drugs mentioned may have been altered in some way, but their base ingredient was a natural substance.

For example, alcohol that is meant for human consumption can be distilled from grain, fruit, and even vegetables. Cocaine is a derivative of opium, which is a flowering plant in the poppy family. The drug is found in the poppy flowers that bloom on this plant. Heroin comes from morphine, which comes from opium. Marijuana also comes from a plant, the cannabis plant to be exact.

This is not so with meth. Meth is produced by mixing the ingredients found in such things as household chemicals, certain over-the-counter medications, and other items (the recipe will NOT be included here). The items are mixed together, which in and of itself can be dangerous, because of the resulting chemical reaction that can occur. The reaction can cause deadly fumes to be released or can even cause explosions.

More and more news articles, both in the print and broadcast media, are reporting structure explosions and fires that were caused by meth production. These incidents can often lead to death, as recently happened in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Even if meth does not explode or people are not overcome by the fumes, meth is still dangerous. It is sometimes not necessary to take meth into the body by smoking or injecting it for it to have an effect; the fumes can be absorbed through the skin. This is often how small children and infants are found to actually have measurable amounts of meth in their bloodstreams. This type of exposure can often cause addiction; therefore, it is HOPED that that is how the 24.6 of Ohio residents between the ages of 12 and 17 became addicted. Unfortunately, for some it probably was not.

Just because other drugs, however, are derived from natural substances does not mean they are safer. On the contrary, they can be just as dangerous as meth. No substance of abuse is safe, and all of them have the propensity to cause a drug addiction just as strong as that of a meth addiction.

No matter how any type of drug addiction, to any substance, occurred, the important thing is that a certain percentage of the Ohio residents surveyed did seek help for their drug addiction at one or more of Ohio's treatment facilities. These facilities could have been municipal, county, State, or even federally funded, or they may have been private facilities.

Some of them may have operated as part of a religious organization's ministry; others may have been supported or funded by other community service organizations. Some may have required a fee that was based on a person's income; others may have accepted health insurance coverage.

Still others may have been completely free, as long as the person met certain criteria. Others may have offered payment plans, or helped the person needing the services to secure financing through a financial organization that lends money strictly for medical expenses, and includes drug addiction treatment as a reason for loaning the money.

http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/?DocLinkDir=Asc&LetterGridDir=Asc&print=1&DocLinkPageSize=1000&s_first_letter=S&s_sec_type=7
http://www.odadas.ohio.gov/WebManager/UltimateEditorInclude/UserFiles/WebDocuments/Planning/June06YoungHerionUse.pdf

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