Methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous and destructive forms of illegal drugs being used today. Its highly addictive nature makes it easy to develop a habit and difficult to fight it. Australia is in the midst of a battle against this drug that’s being complicated with use by individuals suffering from dual diagnosis.
The specific substance being found in Australia is “ice”, a pure form of meth that gets its name from its crystal structure. Initially it acts as a stimulant, creating chemical reactions in the brain that cause intense euphoria. Continued use often leads to psychotic behavior and physical issues such as weight loss, body sores and dental problems.
The Australian Crime Commission recently warned that the country’s ice problem is reaching pandemic proportions. Hospitals are dealing with patients brought in by police rather than on their own accord. They’re in such a state of paranoia and agitation that it’s difficult to conduct an initial assessment.
Jo Colvin, a staff member at Latrobe Regional Hospital in Victoria, estimates that 70 percent of patients admitted are dealing with a substance addiction. They generally need to be contained until they reach a point where they’re less likely to be a danger to themselves or others.
Ms. Colvin also notes the high number of ice patients who are found to have a corresponding mental illness. Not surprisingly, their ice addiction frequently aggravates their underlying mental health problems. The hospital can treat the effects but doesn’t have the facilities for long-term rehab. While the hospital offers referrals to a health service, many addicts refuse to make use of them because they don’t see their behavior as a problem.
Successful recovery of dual diagnosis patients involved treating both the addiction and the mental disorder. Transitions Recovery in Miami is one of few facilities dually-licensed to offer comprehensive treatment programs. Call 800-298-1783 to have your questions answered by our knowledgeable, caring staff.