Night of the living meth heads

Posted on January 22, 2012


Blogger’s note: This is a rant, plain and simple. This is not a “say no to drugs” piece. This is a “I’m scared as hell about what drugs can do to a community” piece.

I’ve never been a fan of drugs, whether they be prescription, over the counter or illegal. I don’t like the idea of losing control of my senses or not remembering something I did.

That being said, some drugs scare me more than others. Marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol scare me because of the way they effect health, skew perception and lead to addiction (anyone who says you cannot be addicted to marijuana is probably addicted to marijuana. Believe me, no one smokes it for the smell. They are addicted to the high, if nothing else).

Then there are the high level prescription narcotics, antipsychotics, etc. Not to mention cocaine and heroin. Heroin is something I hear about all the time living in Marion. It seems to be the Marionites’ drug of choice. Who wouldn’t want to take it when the long-term effects include addiction, collapsing veins, bacterial infections, infections of the heart lining and valves, etc. Yep, I think fleeting feeling of euphoria is worth all that.

Then there is a drug that is not quite in Marion yet, but it is coming. It’s only on the fringes now, and it puts all the other drugs I’ve listed to shame — Meth.

Now, not only do Marionites have to worry about a crack or heroin addict breaking in to steal a stereo to get the next high, but we will have to hear stories like the ones in this article: Horrific murder no surprise in meth capital. Talk about crime getting out of control, right? Meth addicts have stabbed their children, drowned them, shot people, etc.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported several effects of long-term meth use:

“Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative health consequences, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. Chronic methamphetamine abusers can also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects crawling under the skin).”

Does that sound like something you want to live with? I know I don’t.

Not to mention, on top of all that loveliness — the chemicals used to make meth are extremely volatile. Meth labs blow up all the time. Not so comforting when you might be living next door to one, right?

I may come off this rant sounding like a goodie-two-shoes or as someone who is a little too dramatic about what is going on in her city, but this scares me. It scares me because I actually love this town. It scares me because I am raising my kids here. It scares me because I live here, and I don’t want to become a victim of the violence that so many are already seeing with meth on the fringes.

So, the questions — what do we do about drugs in our community? What do we do about the crime that accompanies the drug problems? Is there any solution? Or, am I being overly dramatic, and do you think this is not a problem at all?