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Illegal Drug Addiction in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s central location in the United States, within the Midwest, close to the South, the Mid-Atlantic States and urban centers like Chicago make it appealing for drug traffickers trying to move their product in an efficient manner via large interstate highways. Meth illegal drug addiction in Oklahoma has continued to be rampant, despite measures that have knocked down the number of meth labs in the state by almost half. Meth illegal drug addiction in Oklahoma is so bad that 3 out of 4 cattle rustlers are doing the crime to feed their meth addiction, according to the Bangor Daily News. Cocaine and crack are brought in from Mexico and also shipped to other parts of the country from Oklahoma. Despite this, Oklahoma has not had the heroin problem that the Eastern part of the country has suffered. Instead, they’ve been battling a large street drug problem, mainly from prescription drugs and meth, which has managed to get them ranked sixth in the nation for the highest overdose rates for street drugs in 2015.

The Increasing Meth Problem in Oklahoma

Methamphetamineaddiction.com reports that in 2013 the number of meth lab busts in the state went down from 830 to 421, due to tighter regulations of over-the-counter medications used to manufacture meth. However, tracking of meth overdose rates tells an alarming from 2008 to 2013, which indicated four times as many deaths by 2013 as in 2008. These paradoxical numbers shows the complex nature of treating drug addiction with state policy. While meth labs in the state went down, the cartels swooped in from Mexico to continue supplying the demand for meth. Unfortunately, this drug is so addictive that people can get hooked on it the first or second time they use it.

Meth: A Drug with Many Forms and Consequences

Meth can come in a liquid and be transported through states in bottles, disguised as tequila or some other liquid. Later it can be converted into its crystal form, known as crystal meth. It produces an intense rush that is said to be similar to cocaine; however, it can last up to 12 hours. Once someone ingests meth it stays in the blood for up to 90 days and can produce a myriad of negative consequences. It can cause a psychotic break, even 90 days after ingested. It will almost instantly trigger intense cravings, which lead some people into criminal behavior to make sure they can get their next hit of meth. It leads to a condition known as “meth mouth,” which is extensive, accelerated tooth decay. Addicts pick at their skin and show signs of scabbing all over. It can also cause mood disorders. Withdrawal symptoms are so bad, that usually it requires that a person do a medical detox with methadone. This way the addict won’t be as affected by strong cravings and the methadone dosage can be slowly tapered until it a person is off of it altogether.

The Consequences for Cocaine Abuse in Oklahoma

Cocaine is a stimulant that affects the heart. It can raise the blood pressure and increase heart rate. When overdosing, addicts have a heart attack or stroke and can die. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, even to the point where someone becomes suicidal. Even though there is no medical detox for cocaine available, a course of anti-depressants is often prescribed to help manage the potential for suicidal feelings. The cost of cocaine in other major cities and the dwindling supply has led some addicts to switch to meth as well, since they are both stimulants.

Heroin Could Become a Bigger Problem in Oklahoma Later

While not a big illegal drug addiction in Oklahoma, heroin usage is increasing. The problem is again that state policy, while working to reduce one form of addiction, may be spurring another. Since Oklahoma has had a huge prescription drug abuse problem, it has instituted measures to track the selling of pharmaceuticals and to regulate them better. Those people who were abusing OxyContin and other opioids ended up with a dwindling supply of their chosen drug. Since heroin is also an opioid, these people switched from brand name drugs to heroin as a cheaper alternative of a drug that produces the same effect. However, illegal heroin can be mixed with a number of different drugs that can make it easily fatal. Thus, while the measures are working to reduce the number of prescription drug overdoses, it may also be working to push those addicts into heroin usage.

Treatment is the Answer for Illegal Drug Addiction in Oklahoma

Without treatment, the likelihood of kicking the habit “cold turkey” is very low for any of these drugs and it is also quite dangerous. Medical supervision during the detox stage can help lessen horrible withdrawal symptoms from tremors, hallucinations, vomiting, and cravings to suicidal ideation. Not every illegal drug has a medical detox, but even so there are ways to help reduce the withdrawal effects of these drugs to get an addict started down the road to recovery. Then, once in rehab, they have a chance of reclaiming the life they lost when they started down the road to addiction.

If you need help with a meth addiction, either your own or someone else’s, contact a treatment addiction center in Oklahoma as soon as possible. They can help you start detoxing and put you in contact with professionals who can educate you on the different forms of therapy that can help you learn new ways to circumvent stress triggers that may have led to doing drugs. Get help with your addiction and reduce the potential for problems during the recovery process to get you started on the best life possible.