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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Relapse rate high, success possible with meth

Thursday, April 21, 2005

In the last two and a half weeks, at least one person in Clay County has been charged nearly every day with some form of illegal narcotics possession or an alcohol related offense.

Certified Addictions Counselor for the county Stephen Sutherland said that methamphetamine usage out of all other drugs is the most complicated to control and treat.

"The area's just completely saturated with it," said Sutherland, the NCAC II - CACAD II certified counselor.

Clay County has always had a stimulant abuse problem, but "it's (meth use) just exploded over the past year and a half," he said.

Alcohol is still the dominant drug abused in the county, "but meth is becoming a close second in the area of violence and agression," he said.

In terms of counseling, meth is such an addictive drug that even on a first offense, the user must be placed in a higher form of care for recovery.

"It's so addictive that once a person starts dependent style usage, usually it takes a medical or legal crisis to bring a client to treatment," Sutherland said.

Sutherland works with methamphetamine offenders after their convictions and gets them set up for counseling.

Treatment begins with an intensive outpatient program three nights a week for several hours a night. The IOP spans eight to 12 weeks and is "a combo of group therapy, educational track and individual counseling."

"The goal of the IOP is to get you to the insight that your usage is problematic," he siad.

Following treatment, offenders move on to relapse prevention lasting anywhere from six to 24 weeks.

Major adjustments are being made to standard recovery programs because of meth. "We're hoping to put together a meth specific IOP in the future," he said.

Sutherland said the research is clear that whether a person is forced into treatment or goes willingly, it works.

"It's treatable," he said about methamphetamine addiction, but "relapse rates with meth are significantly higher."

Other addictions treated in the programs are marijuana, alcohol and prescription pills.

Help for struggling meth addicts can be found in Brazil and Terre Haute at the Hamilton Center, Recovery Associates, Fellowship House, Free Bird Solution, private therapists and faith-based programs, Sutherland said.

Fees vary depending on where someone seeks help. Most places work on a sliding scale based on the person's income while others have a flat rate. Meth treatment is going to cost the abuser one way or another because even court ordered treatment incurs fees, he said.

Meth users are most likely to relapse, Sutherland said, but the goal of these programs is so that the user does not collapse. After the programs, a user should have the education to get back on their feet and start over.

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