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Today is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day
1.2 million: That’s how many people in the U.S. have used meth over the last year. And 440,000 of those 1.2 million have used meth in the last month.
Additionally, meth abuse sent more than 103,000 people to emergency departments nationwide.
November 30th is National Meth Awareness Day
To raise awareness and educate the public about methamphetamine abuse, November 30 has been officially declared National Methamphetamine Awareness Day.
This year marks a full nine years of these efforts. The mission began when President George W. Bush signed the proclamation declaring the first National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, November 30, 2006.
The goals of our nation’s November 30th anti-meth abuse effort are threefold and include the following:
- Educating current users about available programs to get help
- Sending a prevention message to potential meth users
- Educating the public about the effects of methamphetamine abuse
Preventing Another Epidemic
While the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated a decrease in meth use since the previous 2006 survey, there were still 133,000 new meth users in 2012. One national survey revealed one in six young adults has used illicit drugs in the last thirty days.
Clearly, meth abuse is an issue that deserves our attention. So, what can we do on National Meth Awareness Day – and every other day of the year – to prevent the outbreak of yet another drug epidemic similar to that of opiate addiction?
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
- Spread the Word
To show support of this nationwide effort, use #MethAwarenessDay to post on social media.
- Evaluate Behavior Patterns
Methamphetamine use results in a very temporary “rush” that fades within a few minutes. It often causes users to become very talkative and confident or aggressive and agitated.
- Gage Interest in Previous Needs, Desires
Meth is extremely addictive and tolerance is easily developed. This means users quickly need more and more to achieve the desired rush. Other needs and desires often fall by the wayside as the meth high is chased. Your loved one may skip out on sleep, food, social interactions, or job responsibilities as the addiction takes hold, or show additional signs of prolonged meth abuse.
- Watch for Signs
Learn how to spot meth abuse in your loved ones. Look for the following indicators your loved one may be abusing meth. As a powerful stimulant, meth can cause:
- Decreased Appetite
- Increased Activity and Wakefulness
- Decreased Fatigue
- Hyperthermia (Elevated Body Temp)
- Repetitive Physical Activity
- Increased Distractibility
- Tooth Decay
- Deficits in Thinking and Motor Skills
- Memory Loss
- Aggressive/Violent Behavior
- Mood Disturbances
- Weight Loss
Ultimate Goals: Getting Help, Getting Sober
You’re not alone. If you realize you or your loved one is struggling with methamphetamine abuse, help is available. Find a treatment program in your area that will help get you on the road to recovery.
Additional Reading: 5 Telltale Signs Your Teen is Abusing Meth
Image Source: iStock