I went to a meeting this morning to hear Greg Lorber, Methamphetamine Specialist of the Iowa Department of Human Services talk about meth use in Iowa. If you're not familiar with meth, you should educate yourself. This is a picture of 10 years of meth use. Yes, it's the same lady in all the pictures... she's dead now.
Iowa ranks 2nd in the nation in meth production. I live in Henry County, which is 2nd in the state of Iowa for meth production. So to say that I am in the middle of meth country would be very accurate. I know personally at least 10 people who are currently using, or trying to get off of meth.
Here are some statistics / facts about meth.
- Meth is almost always addictive from one use
- If you use more than 3 times, fewer than 3% quit using
- Meth dammages the part of the brain the produces dopamine. After one use, the brain can never produce normal amounts again.
- You never get as high as you do on your first hit. As a result, you continually chase what you can never have again.
- After two uses, your brain is so dammaged that you become permanently depressed and no amount of anti-depressant medication can compensate for your brain's inability to produce dopamine.
I have no idea why anyone would ever use meth if they understand what it does.
I heard story after story of families torn apart by meth. One where the parents both used. They had 4 kids under the age of 6. The 6 year old took care of the other 3. Fed them, changed diapers, did everything. When DHS came to take the kids, the 6 year old asks "Where are you taking my brothers and sisters?" The parents didn't ask anything.
Makes me mad.