drugs

Psychonaut/Wikipedia Commons

County prosecutors in Michigan are warning of a resurgence of methamphetamine throughout the state. They say the latest incarnation of the drug is much more potent and addictive than it used to be.

The meth that’s sold on the street these days usually doesn’t come from homemade labs. It’s imported from places like Mexico.

Psychonaut/Wikipedia Commons

Methamphetamine use is on the rise in Michigan.

Prosecutors say imported “crystal” meth from Mexico is now replacing homemade meth labs. A report from Michigan State Police says homemade meth labs are in decline.

JJ, Flickr

Police have stopped two kilograms of cocaine from being sold in northern Michigan. The cocaine was allegedly mailed from an address in Texas to James Lopez of Benzie County. Law enforcement intercepted the package at a local post office before it reached Lopez.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dan King, head of the Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT), says they rarely see drug packages this large in northern Michigan.

“To my memory, it’s the largest seizure and arrest of cocaine in Benzie County,” says King.

Is there hope for a new life after being addicted to drugs or selling drugs?

Detroiter Sheldon Hill is proof there is.

After years of selling and using drugs, and multiple arrests, Hill went into an addiction recovery program. He was in his 40s. And it worked.

Today, Hill's sole mission in life is to keep others from making the mistakes and choices he made as a young man.

Michigan has a fierce fight on its hands. A fight to keep people out of the clutches of opioid and heroin addiction. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers some stunning numbers that show how badly this fight is going. 

In 1999 there were 99 heroin or opioid overdose deaths. In 2014, that number climbed to 1,001. 

That's 10 times as many deaths in just 15 years.

“I remember looking at some of the early federal reports involving opioid pain killers and overdose deaths and they had increased so rapidly, when I was looking at the data I was convinced someone had put a decimal point in the wrong place,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny said.

Kolodny is a senior scientist at Brandeis University and executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. He spent time working in addiction medicine in New York City during the early 2000s.

“The sharp increase was very real and what we would ultimately come to recognize is that we were at the beginning of a new, very severe epidemic,” Kolodny said.

 

The headlines were huge and screaming on April 21 this year: Prince, found dead in an elevator in his home.

Cause of death? An opioid overdose.

 

And before that, there was June 25, 2009. More screaming headlines: Michael Jackson died from an overdose of propofol, which helped him sleep, and anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines.

 

The headlines from 54 years ago told the same sad tale: film star Marilyn Monroe found dead in her Hollywood home.

The cause? An overdose of prescription drugs.

When it comes to finding a pathway to helping an addict to recovery, most people and most courts think of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The popular view is that AA and NA are the only ways for someone to get clean and sober, and stay that way.

But there are other options, organizations like SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery and the Buddhist Recovery Network

For some, these alternatives can do what AA and NA could not.