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Montana Drug Addiction

The Missoulian reports an increase in the use of meth in Montana starting in 2012, after years of decline. Meth related felony charges rose by 30 percent in that year. By 2013, Montana drug addiction in terms of meth showed no signs of slowing down in the state. According to the Missoulian, only 27 people using heroin or morphine, actually sought treatment in Montana during the year of 2014. Despite heroin’s growing popularity around the country, it has yet to become a large issue in Montana. This can easily change, as addiction to prescription painkillers is high. As access to painkillers becomes increasingly difficult, many people will turn to heroin for a similar high. There is evidence that the number of heroin admissions is rising, but it is still far below that of other states in the union. Crack/cocaine is the second most common Montana drug addiction, with the highest popularity being meth.

Meth in Montana

Montana has made many efforts to reduce the number of meth labs in the state. However, that does nothing to stop the flow of drugs being imported from Mexico and California, or the even begin to reduce the number of addicts there are. The Meth Project reports that, in terms of per capita admissions for meth in all states, Montana is in the top 10 nationwide. A total of 20 percent of all drug admission treatments in the state are due to meth. In addition, meth is responsible for 53 percent of children winding up in foster care, and 50 percent of adults landing in jail for meth-related crimes. Meth can cause addicts to lose their families and sometimes their lives, and it all starts in a descent into addiction that severely impacts their health.

Meth: Easy Addiction with a Hard Ride

Meth is highly addictive and provides a quick rush to addicts. It can be injected, smoked, orally ingested, and snorted. Crystal meth is a white powdery form of meth, also known as ice or glass, and is typically snorted. The drug stays in the system for about 90 days after it was taken. This high can last from 6 hours up to 24 hours, depending on how it was ingested. When a person takes this drug, they feel more awake, alert, and receive an instant rush of confidence and well-being. However, people can become addicted on the first try, and withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Withdrawal symptoms can include intense cravings for the drug, psychotic breaks and violent outbursts. Meth addicts lose interest in eating and have severe tooth decay, also known as “meth mouth.” They will pick at their skin compulsively, producing disfiguring scabs. Because of how difficult it is to quit this drug “cold turkey,” a medical detox of methadone is administered to reduce the withdrawal symptoms and help a patient to break their habit. Even then, the methadone must be tapered slowly off any and all drugs.

Crack/Cocaine: Another Montana Drug Addiction

Crack/cocaine is the second largest drug threat in Montana. Crack, the crystalline form of cocaine, is smoked from a pipe and can lead to painful blisters around the mouth, and burnt fingers from holding the pipe too long. The high that is experienced from crack cocaine will only last about 10 to 15 minutes, but during that time it can have severe health effects on the body. It is a stimulant that affects the cardiovascular system, speeding up one’s heart rate and potentially causing a heart attack or stroke. Since the high is short lived, users tend to take more than one hit and frequently throughout the day in order to keep it going. They might also combine the drug with another substance to make it more potent. Both of these methods can easily result in an overdose, as the addict will lose track of the amount being used, and has less sense of how it is impacting their body until it is too late. Addicts on crack/cocaine will engage in risky behavior, leading to unprotected sex or theft. Parkinson’s can develop in people who have used crack cocaine for a long time. Coming down is depressing and can make a person suicidal. Not everyone becomes addicted to crack/cocaine, but those who do, will need help getting off it with a course of anti-depressants.


Heroin: A Growing Concern

Currently, Montana is fortunate to not have the same heroin epidemic happening within its borders, unlike many other states. Heroin is a very addictive drug that depresses the respiratory system, making it easy to overdose on. It can put an individual in a coma, or even kill them. It has a numbing effect similar to painkillers, and provides a euphoric high afterwards. Withdrawal is nearly impossible without a medical detox via methadone or other prescription. Naloxene has been proven to be effective in stopping the effects of an overdose, but other medications are necessary for long-term management of withdrawal symptoms.


How to Get Treatment for Montana Drug Addiction

Medical supervision is required for most Montana drug addictions, even if there is no medical detox available. Supervision is necessary to keep people from becoming too depressed, as many crack/cocaine addicts take their lives during withdrawal. Meth has a medical detox, but it requires supervision to taper the medication off slowly and watch for potential seizures or psychotic breaks. Heroin can use either a methadone or suboxone medical detox. After detoxing, there is still further work to be done. An addict must discover the causes that triggered their Montana drug addiction to begin with. These can be uncovered by attending substance abuse meetings, personal and group therapy sessions, and cognitive-behavioral sessions. Once an addict understands the reasons for their addiction, they will have the ability to avoid going down that road again.

Getting into detox and rehab, is the first step towards breaking a Montana drug addiction. Reach out to an addiction specialist today to start creating a better, healthier life for the future.