Similar to other health care centers, most of the rooms at St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula are filled with regular medical equipment. But there is one particular room with just a bed that is especially set aside for people who have turned psychotic from consuming too much methamphetamine. Nowadays, people with meth addiction frequently end up in an emergency room (ER).
Often terrified, hallucinating and with a high heart rate, upon checking into an ER, such patients often require six or seven people for strapping them to a hospital bed with a doctor injecting them with a tranquilizer. The reason for this is that these patients many a times, can pick up a 100-pound bed and bang it against the wall, i.e., become violent.
While it may sound strange, this is a common sight in hospitals across the United States. Doctors, especially those who usually work nights in the ER, treat such patients on a regular basis. While these doctors are equipped to treat emergency cases, when it comes to treating addiction, they cannot seem to be of much help.
ER visits on the rise
According to the National Hospital Care Survey, visits to the ER involving pharmaceutical abuse or misuse have more than doubled from 2004 through 2011, while emergency treatment involving illicit drugs saw an increase of about 25 percent from 2009 to 2011. The survey also reported that between 2009 and 2011, meth-related visits saw an overall increase of 61 percent.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA), Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report, between 2009 and 2011, the number of visits to the ER involving meth saw an increase from 64,117 in 2009 to 102,961 in 2011. In addition, 62 percent of meth-related ER visits involved it being combined with other pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs or alcohol.
Meth is highly addictive
One of the most addictive drugs, methamphetamine or meth has the ability to affect an individual’s central nervous system and is known to create feelings of pleasure, an elevated mood and increased energy levels among its users. Known by several other names such as meth, ice and crystal, the drug can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected. It is also found in liquid form. A Schedule II stimulant, meth is often abused in a binge and crash pattern by high-intensity abusers who are addicted to the drug and need to keep taking the drug in short intervals to preserve its high and to overcome the inevitable crash that accompanies the euphoric highs.
Long-term and regular meth use is associated with anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. It can also cause severe functional and structural changes in the brain areas associated with emotion and memory. When taken in larger doses or with alcohol or other opioids, meth can cause serious complications such as liver damage, certain types of cancers and can even be fatal.
Meth addiction can be overcome with medical intervention
As a leading behavioral health care provider, Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is suffering from an addiction to meth or any other harmful substances. Sovereign Health of Florida offers addiction treatment program at both its Fort Myers and Pompano Beach facilities. A comprehensive treatment for drug addiction at our state-of-the-art facilities consists of medically supervised detoxification process followed by behavioral therapies and/or counseling sessions.
At Sovereign Health of Florida, we offer each of our patients individualized addiction treatment in a safe and private environment. For more information on treatment offered at our facilities or to locate our finest addiction treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representative.
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