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Drug Abuse in Mississippi

Drug abuse in Mississippi is a growing concern for residents and drug enforcement officers alike. Illegal drugs cost the United States over $190 billion every year in healthcare, criminal justice costs and lost productivity, and drug use directly contributes to the number of violent crimes that are committed against US residents each year.  The term ‘street drug’ refers to illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Despite the fact that it is illegal to possess, manufacture or sell these types of drugs, drug abuse in Mississippi is still prevalent and results in addiction for many users. Certain drugs such as heroin are extremely addictive and cause a physical dependency in the user where the body will crave the drug. Attempting to stop can be extremely difficult, and many heroin addicts suffer relapses after addiction treatment. Milder drugs such as marijuana can still cause a psychological addiction that can be hard to overcome, and professional rehabilitation treatment is the best option for those seeking help to overcome a dependency on street drugs.

Drug Abuse in Mississippi

Marijuana is the most commonly abused street drug in Mississippi and accounts for the vast majority of addiction treatment admissions according The Whitehouse Drug Control Update. When compared to the rest of the United States, street drug abuse in Mississippi is relatively low. Approximately 6.95% of residents reported having used an illegal drug within the last month which is lower than the national average of 8.82%. Cocaine and methamphetamine addiction are also common reasons for rehabilitation treatment in the state. Although illegal drug use remains relatively low, Mississippi is often used as a gateway for illegal drug smuggling and recent years have seen a large increase in the number of illegal meth labs.

 

Commonly Abused Street Drugs

Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant produced from the leaves of the coca plant indigenous to South America. The drug is usually found in powdered form where it is inhaled through the nose or dissolved in water and injected into a vein. Cocaine produces a high that provides the user with a burst of energy, increased confidence, heightened awareness and a feeling of euphoria. Physical effects of cocaine use include increased heart and respiratory rate as well as a spike in blood pressure. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, cocaine is classed as a schedule I drug meaning it is highly addictive and has no known medical application. Cocaine stimulates the nervous system and tricks the brain into releasing large amounts of dopamine that causes feelings of intense pleasure. Long-term use of cocaine results in the body building up a tolerance where the user will have to consume larger quantities of the drug to experience a high. Those that abuse cocaine for extended periods often experience anxiety, paranoia, headaches, digestion problems and malnourishment due to decreased appetite. Consuming a large amount of cocaine leaves users vulnerable to heart attack or stroke.

 

Heroin

Heroin belongs to the opioid class of drugs that act as a depressant on the central nervous system. The drug is created using morphine harvested from the poppy plant and is usually found as a white or brown powder. There are three different methods of ingesting heroin including inhaling through the nose, smoking it, or injecting it into the bloodstream using a hypodermic needle. Injecting heroin is extremely dangerous as it also puts the user at risk of viruses such as hepatitis and HIV. Heroin is an extremely addictive drug that causes a physical dependency after prolonged use. Users report an initial rush of euphoria followed by a warm and pleasant feeling throughout the body. After the initial rush, users will become extremely drowsy and will seem to fall asleep on their feet. Heroin is considered a schedule I drug for its extreme addictiveness and high potential for overdose. A heroin overdose often leads to a condition called hypoxia where the breathing is suppressed and can result in brain damage, coma and death. Chronic heroin users are at risk of collapsed veins from repeated injecting of the drug, heart disease, liver and kidney disease, and pneumonia.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a schedule II drug and an extremely addictive stimulant similar to amphetamine. The drug is most often found in powder or crystal form and can be smoked, inhaled or injected. Users experience a ‘flash’ of pleasure after ingesting the drug that is relatively short-lived, and many people will take multiple hits of the drug in a single session. Methamphetamine stimulates the brain’s reward center and increases the amount of dopamine produced. Prolonged use of methamphetamine results in a number of molecular changes in the brain in areas responsible for memory and emotion. These changes can remain even after the user has been off the drug for several months. Prolonged abuse of methamphetamine is associated with anxiety, confusion, psychosis, violent outbursts, cognitive impairment and auditory hallucinations. Physical effects of methamphetamine include severe tooth decay known as meth mouth, weight loss and open wounds on the skin caused by scratching. Illegal meth labs are becoming more common in the US with many criminals manufacturing the drug for distribution. Manufacturing methamphetamine involves a number of highly toxic chemicals that often find their way into the drug in dangerous amounts.

 

Treatment for Street Drug Abuse in Mississippi

Residential rehabilitation treatment is the best option for those fighting an addiction to street drugs. Addicts must first complete a medical detox under the supervision of a physician followed by therapy and counseling sessions. According to research, the relapse rate for those completing drug treatment is between 40% and 60%. Therefore, a comprehensive aftercare plan that provides ongoing support is essential for all patients.

Addiction is a chronic disease that requires professional treatment to help addicts remain sober. If you require help with overcoming an addiction to illegal drugs, then contact your nearest rehabilitation center today. Street drug abuse in Mississippi is becoming more and more common, but drug treatment centers can help those in need of high quality care to finally beat their dependency on chemical substances.