Methamphetamine use in Montana has reached what is described as epidemic proportions. The accompanying, burgeoning crime rate has the attention of law enforcement officers in the state focused on the drug’s suppliers. Communities see more drug rehab center openings to address the needs of meth addicts. Child welfare workers see the problem from the perspective of the abused and neglected children, victims of their parents’ meth use. No segment of Montana’s population has escaped the meth scourge.
Concerns about crystal meth’s apparent grip on many Montana residents involve a new group of users – the slightly older couple that used to find alcohol their drug of choice. The meth crowd was once primarily made up of teenagers, a fact that had an influential role in the establishing of the Montana Meth Project, a non-profit organization founded in pursuit of reducing methamphetamine use, especially among teenagers. In recent years, however, the latest demographic, the parents of dependent children, has become a significant chunk of the habitual user population. The need for effective substance addiction facilities resurfaces.
The statistics are chilling. The Billings Gazette stated that the number of child abuse and neglect cases dealt with by Montana courts had doubled between 2009 and 2015. The paper reported that according to the Montana supreme Court administrator, the growth is primarily the result of increased use of meth and heroin. In Missoula County, cases of child abuse and neglect have tripled since 2010. Across the state, the number of children in foster care due to parents using meth has quadrupled in the past six years. In an adjoining county, 33 percent of newborns are affected by drugs.
The effects of meth use are far reaching. Teen users who survive adolescence become adult users. Adult users often become parents. Their children become victims whose lives are changed forever as neglect and abuse send them to foster care, from which 50 percent never return to their parental home. Health is ruined, jobs are lost, families are destroyed. “Methamphetamine production and use remains the biggest drug threat in Montana, and the state has one of the highest rates of meth treatment admissions per capita in the nation.”
Admission to an addiction treatment center is the best hope of recovery. Montana is a good place to find a drug rehab facility, the state is home to high numbers of them. There are a variety of private addiction recovery center listings from which to choose. Montana operates a government-funded substance abuse center for eligible individuals. Programs offered in each addiction recovery facility vary in length from less than a month to more than nine months. Freeing oneself from the grip of meth is not a quick process nor is it likely to be successfully undertaken without the structure and assistance of a drug rehab clinic.
Anyone not familiar with the disturbing physical and mental effects of methamphetamine addiction should sit up and take notice. It is easy to brush off the problem if it hasn’t touched you personally, but when you realize how far reaching its destruction is to a community, you can’t help but recognize its needs. Crime, child abuse and neglect and soaring public health and welfare costs impact us all.
Responsibility for putting a halt to the meth epidemic falls on everyone. Be aware of changes in the appearance and behavior of friends and family and know that intervention is appropriate at any point. The longer meth use goes on, the more difficult it becomes to stop its irreparable damage to the user, his circle and the community. If you or anyone you know is addicted to meth, please call Intervention Drug Rehab so we can pair you with the best addiction recovery center to fit your needs.