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The Quiet Meth Epidemic In North Carolina

Recently, police stopped a Utah man in Iredell County with nearly $800,000 of crystal methamphetamine, a total of almost 17 pounds. According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, they arrested the man as part of an investigation into a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization. However, his arrest is just a blip on the radar as there are dozens of similar arrests throughout North Carolina. The demand is still robust, especially in Western North Carolina, where overdoses have been high throughout the pandemic.

Meth Is A Drug Of Choice In Western North Carolina

Meth has always been trafficked through North Carolina on its way out west to Tennessee and other destinations. The market has been growing for a while. Before the pandemic, in 2018, 160 people had died during the previous year due to methamphetamine-related overdoses. Opioid overdoses were just over 1,000 in that same time, but meth is still a social problem for many.

"I would certainly not want to give the impression that, just because deaths are lower, methamphetamine is somehow less devastating to communities and individuals," William T. Stetzer, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, told North Carolina Health News last July.

"Methamphetamine might not have the same number of overdose deaths, but I think the misery index it brings is still very high as far as communities, tribes, and families who are suffering."

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Treatment for meth addiction isn't as effective as a treatment for opioid addiction. There aren't many drugs that treat withdrawal symptoms, and while Medication-Assisted Treatment studies have been completed, there is no medication approved as a treatment by the FDA.

One study looked at a combination of two drugs used as MAT for opioid addiction. The medication, a combination of naltrexone and bupropion, found a significantly better outcome for people who took the meds. However, more studies need to be done to determine safety and efficacy.

Right now, detox and drug treatment are still considered the most effective way to begin recovery from methamphetamine use disorder.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, we're here to help! Reaching out can seem challenging, but it's the most critical step to overcoming your addiction and living your best life.

Learn more about our services and how we can help by calling us at 910-295-8246. We offer services to people throughout North Carolina.

If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.

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