Meth Addiction in Bakersfield
Bakersfield has been dubbed the “armpit” of California thanks in part to the city’s conservative political views, outdated technology, intense air pollution and scorching temperatures. Further solidifying the moniker is the out of control methamphetamine epidemic that is sweeping through the city’s 500,000 residents as the drug increases of addiction, raises crime rates and overwhelms law enforcement and medical personnel struggling to eradicate it before it’s too late.
According to reports last year, the methamphetamine problem in Kern County is getting worse every year. In May 2014, 50.2 percent of the felonies here were charges that were related to meth, which is a 12% increase over the span of six years. Really driving the point of the Bakersfield meth epidemic home are the statistics related to a random sample of juvenile probation cases from 2008 and 2014. A side by side comparison shows a staggering 37.2% increase in methamphetamine related juvenile probation case referrals within that same six year window. These alarmingly high numbers make it nearly impossible to argue the severity of the meth problem in the area.
Meth Labs and Trafficking
Each year authorities do their best to flush out as many of the meth labs in Bakersfield as possible. However, it’s getting harder and harder to accomplish this feat thanks to new ways meth can be made in portable “one-pot” batches in homes and even in the backseat of a car. The portability factor by no means reduces the dangers of dabbling in meth production, though. These mini labs are just as volatile as those on a larger scale and still cost the city tens of thousands of dollars each year to clean up after.
Small time operations aren’t solely responsible for bringing meth. In fact, a large percentage of the drug comes from other parts of California as well other states and countries, making the problem even harder to manage.
Bakersfield is yet another one of the country’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s (HIDTA), making it far too easy for meth to be moved in from Mexico and Canada with the use of the vast highway that weaves throughout California. This is especially concerning when it comes to the large amounts of deadly ice methamphetamine that is brought into the city by cartels from Mexico.
This system offers a decreased chance of being busted by law enforcement while making it possible for dealers to shuffle large amounts of the drug into the areas where demand is greatest and into the eagerly outstretched hands of addicted users in need of a fix. All of which are factors that add to the incredibly daunting task of tackling the greatest drug threats posed by its production and abuse that are placed at the feet of local law enforcement already.
The Meth Threat
Meth is an incredibly potent and highly addictive stimulant with effects that can last up to 50 times longer than cocaine, which makes its seamless ability to seep into the lives of people of all ages and gender all the more alarming. This is a drug that does not discriminate with users ranging from teenagers, housewives and professionals to the affluent, poverty stricken, educated and uneducated. Meth can take hold of anyone and has the ability to easily overpower the many who have fallen prey to this deadly drug.
The effects of methamphetamine on the body are intense and at times dangerous due to the chemicals used to make it. This powerful stimulant works its way through the nervous system, often causing paranoia, delusions, violent behavior, anxiety, mood swings, hallucinations, and insomnia.
The hit to the users central nervous system is further compounded by impaired cognitive function, which contributes to their inability to process reality appropriately, which has led to many violent outbursts as a result. Unfortunately, these the powerful and long lasting effects are often made even worse when coupled with chronic meth use and can result in a frightening increase in the chance that a user may become psychotic and experience violent outbursts.
Hope for Meth Users
There is hope for meth users who want to recover from their addiction and city officials are doing their best to offer appropriate treatment program through rehab facilities that tailor-made to suit individual requirements. However, before rehab, drug testing is necessary. Drug testing in Bakersfield, or another California location in Eureka, is available through Health Street, which has over 2,500 drug testing facilities across the nation. Once addiction is confirmed through the test, the best treatment program can be selected to ensure a successful recovery from this terrible drug that is damaging the nation.