Indiana has reached an epidemic of epic proportions in a relatively small amount of time. It's taken roughly two decades for small-town midwestern values to be completely drowned out by a new focus. A focus that can silence even the loudest conscience.

Addiction

This may seem like old news for some. Many people are becoming increasingly familiar with the heroin and opioid problem that's invaded even the most sacred parts of our communities. Mothers now search sandboxes for needles before they allow their children to play. Addicts slump over the wheels of their vehicles, needles still impaled in their arms, at the local grocery stores.

People look the other way. The attitude in areas like this has quickly led to blame. Blame the addict. Blame the drugs. Blame the parents, the schools, the economy, the community. Unfortunately, this has done little to staunch the loss of an entire generation of people who, otherwise, could have real potential.

Methamphetamine addiction being overlooked

While heroin has become the priority in areas like these, many are realizing that the methamphetamine problem still rages on. Methamphetamine is a strong stimulant often manufactured in volatile conditions created by homemade labs around the Midwest. It can be inhaled, injected, snorted, or ingested-- effecting only the speed of the drug's delivery.

According to the Herald Times, there are still some counties in Indiana where meth-- not heroin-- reigns as the leading drug problem. While this is excellent for keeping this addiction in the spotlight, it does very little to draw attention to new treatment options. Instead, it has prompted a harsher prosecution for those caught dealing or using the dangerous drug.

C. Michael Steiner, a Martin County prosecutor, makes no secret of his contempt for people involved in meth use. In his statement to the Herald Times Online, he states, "The rule in Martin County is, if you are guilty of dealing meth, you are going to the (Indiana) Department of Correction."

This approach has left many addicts and their families feeling helpless in the face of a problem that they aren't sure how to control.

Abstinence isn't as easy as some would believe, as evidenced by new and damaging statistics. The WalletHub Firm released an extensive study in May, showing that Indiana ranked 14 as the worst state for substance abuse in the United States.

According to Giles Bruce of NWI.com, "WalletHub based rankings on three subcategories: drug use rates, law enforcement response, and availability of treatment. In those three categories, Indiana ranked 20th, 12th, and 20th, respectively."

Traditional rehabilitation methods don't seem to be making an impact on those still fighting addiction to methamphetamine in Indiana.

Methamphetamine recovery rates

The addiction recovery rate for those fighting a dependence on methamphetamine varies greatly depending on the treatment method.

The overall statistics may seem low-- hovering around 16 percent -- but certain residential and matrix recovery models have been shown to foster a success rate anywhere from 60-90 percent.

Success is primarily dependent on the addict's ability to get through the first six months after the initial detoxification period. This can only be done with the help of a multi-tiered program that deals with recovery at the psychological, physical, and social levels. Cold-turkey recovery refers to an addict who is attempting to abstain from drugs with little or no help throughout the entire process and is rarely successful.

These statistics show that recovery is definitely possible-- but much more probable with help on several different levels.

Many in Indiana communities are hopeful that their local governments will take notice, and begin instituting new treatment options that are aligned with those known to provide the best rates of success. There is hope with the right help.

Addicts are people. They are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and every possible social role. These are people who, for whatever reason, have become dependent on drugs or alcohol in order to cope with a physical or mental issue. Their lives are not over because they made a poor decision. It's never too late to start working towards the life you want instead of the one you had.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

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