Methamphetamine Abuse And What Can Be Done To Stop It(written by Dr. John Bledsoe)
Methamphetamine in recent years was first used by motorcycle gangs. It was called "crank" because they hid their stash in the crankcase of their bikes. The first "crank" addict I worked with in 1997 was an employee of a large manufacturing concern. For the next couple of years most methamphetamine (ice, crystal ice, etc) users were from that group. Then I began to see cross country truck drivers. Now it has reached every level of society.
Today methamphetamine addicts are composed of high school drop outs, high school graduates, college graduates, and individuals with advanced degrees. I have heard about college graduates, business owners, executives and professionals, individuals with special skills, and housewives that use this destructive drug. Recently, I learned methamphetamine is a problem among high school students. Most of them don't have a clue about what methamphetamine does to the central nervous system. When they see the graphic effects of methamphetamine use on the brain, they are stunned.
I heard about a pathetic case from another substance abuse professional that involved a mother who was a professional. She had a doctorate and was outstanding in her field until she became addicted to "crystal ice." She became a compulsive user and lost her husband, family, house, automobile, and retirement fund. She spent everything she had on methamphetamine. She deteriorated mentally and lost her ability to make rational decisions. Her irrational thinking eventually led to destructive choices. The only thing that mattered was the drug. She refused treatment and her parents helplessly watched her waste away physically and die from an overdose of methamphetamine.
I am convinced this person would be alive today if there were a law that enabled relatives to force addicts into treatment (At their own or family's expense), whether they wanted to go or not. This would give them a chance to recover. The vast majority of hardcore methamphetamine addicts cannot make the decision to stop using until they are clean. When their minds become clear enough to make rational decisions and receive effective treatment, they could make a choice. Some might choose to resume methamphetamine use once out of treatment, but based on my experience a large percentage would stay in recovery.
Why is this so important? Because the threat of incarceration doesn't make methamphetamine addicts to stop. Punishment may deter some from entering the "drug scene," but punishment alone isn't enough. If it were, the methamphetamine problem could be solved. On the other hand if the legal system and society treated addiction as a disease, and law enforcement and treatment providers worked together, significant progress could be made. It is possible for law enforcement to educate the public, but law enforcement alone cannot successfully treat addicts. However, courts can mandate treatment which is necessary for the recovery of methamphetamine addicts.
You need to contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to pass a law that mandates treatment. This type of law would save lives and enable many addicts to become productive members of society again.
Some say such a law would be illegal, but not if addicts are given a choice: treatment and probation or incarceration. I encourage you to begin a campaign to secure the passage of such a law by writing letters, making phone calls, signing petitions, and forming politically active groups.