Methamphetamine is the main illegal drug now flooding the streets of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and other communities across the country. It’s a psychostimulant that can induce psychosis. The new wave of meth is causing police and parents of users and even government officials to shift their focus from opioids to this stimulant, a drug that used to be common, then faded, but is resurging, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. This time, with much more purity, it is coming directly from Mexico, not backyard cookeries or houses or sheds.
The 23 drug task forces that are funded through the Ohio High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area agency saw a 1,600 percent jump in meth seized from 2015 to 2019. “We just simply move like a herd of locusts from one drug to another,” said Dr. Mina “Mike” Kalfas, a certified addiction expert in Northern Kentucky. “Meth is the replacement for the crack of old. We go from opioid (pain pills) to opioid (heroin) to opioid (fentanyl) to stimulant (meth). We try to get them off of the drug they’re on. What we need to do is, treat the addiction. They’re using (a) drug as a coping mechanism.” With evidence-based treatment. The American Society of Addiction Medicine is clamoring for more doctors to learn about such treatment and to attend to the problem as a disease. Historically, the medical system largely ignored addiction, allowing the criminal justice system and treatment programs outside of the health-care system to deal with it, said Lindsey Vuolo, director of Health Law and Policy for the Center on Addiction in New York City.