You’ve seen the grim headlines. You’ve heard the news reports about the harm a highly addictive drug called methamphetamine is causing our communities. Made from toxic and volatile chemicals, meth causes paranoia and violent behavior. It can lead to permanent physical damage, including brain and blood vessel damage, and even heart failure.
However, there are thousands of unsung heroes who are working hard to turn things around. These are the first responders—such as law enforcements officers, who have dramatically reduced the number of meth labs. And there are substance abuse professionals—those who work to stop meth use before it starts and those who help meth users and their families get the help they need.
There are other people out there that you might not think about—the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and co-workers of meth abusers. People who have the courage to get involved and help their friends or loved ones recover from meth addiction—no matter how tough the fight.
Want to help? Here’s what you can do:
· Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of meth abuse. Weight loss, sores that do not heal, carelessness about personal appearance and living conditions, unusual periods of sleep or sleeplessness, and excessive secretiveness are all common symptoms.
· Speak up about child neglect and abuse. They are often the result of a meth-addicted parent or family member.
· Be supportive of family and friends whom you suspect may be using meth or any illegal drug. Offer your support, while being clear and firm that you want them to stop using.
· Find out about substance abuse treatment. With help from a professional counselor, many meth addicts in recovery have gone on to live healthy, productive lives.
With help from everyday heroes, like you, we can make serious strides in the fight against meth. Learn more at methresources.gov or call 800-662-HELP.
CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 254-690-4455!