San Diego is home to more than 1.3 million people, according to the latest statistics compiled by the city. Like any major city in the United States, San Diego faces its share of drug misuse, abuse and addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, San Diego’s rate of emergency department visits per year because of illicit drug use is on par with the rest of the nation’s overall average. What does this mean for those families who are living and working in San Diego? It means that drug abuse and the consequences of drug abuse may touch your life and lives of people you love.
There are several types of drugs that cause concern, all of which have addictive properties and are illegal to possess and consume in California. One such drug is Ecstasy, also known as “X” on the streets. MDMA, a central nervous system stimulant, is a chemical compound that has a range of effects on the human body. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDMA can be taken orally in capsule or tablet form and can cause:
- Blurred vision
- Cramped muscles
- Teeth clenching
- Chills and sweating
- Increased energy
- Increased sensual awareness
- Overall warmth and intense emotional reactions
Ecstasy Attracts More Than Troubled Youth
MDMA has been popular among the underground club scene in San Diego for many years. Parties, known as “raves,” consist of loud, techno-style music held over the course of a night or even several days. According to a spokesman for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, as related by ABC News, house parties based upon a recent, popular movie involving Ecstasy have become a problem in the area. But it’s not just kids who use this powerful and addicting drug.
The United States Navy, which claims San Diego as home for the Pacific Fleet, has its own concerns about the drug as well. In an article posted on the United States Navy Drug Awareness website, a high-ranking officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of selling Ecstasy and other drugs to undercover police officers. The problem has become so severe that the Navy has begun a drug awareness training program for sailors stationed in San Diego.
Ecstasy Changes How the Brain Operates
There are three chemicals in the human brain that are affected by the use of MDMA, as described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Serotonin regulates behaviors as they relate to mood, sleep patterns and pain, among others. MDMA causes a severe rise in the release of serotonin into the brain, elevating mood. Some studies have found that the damage to the neurons that release serotonin naturally can be long lasting and result in the inability to produce the chemical. Some of the subjects of the studies have experienced confusion and depression over the long term.
Drug Treatment for San Diego Residents
It is never too early to seek help for an abusive drug problem. If you or someone you know in San Diego is using Ecstasy or some other dangerous drug, finding the right drug treatment program can make all the difference. When you’re looking for the right program, keep in mind several characteristics that the NIDA has established as being most important. For instance:
- The program should be flexible. As an individual progresses through a treatment program, circumstances surrounding the treatment may change. Issues may develop in the patient’s personal or professional life that can affect treatment as well. A solid program will adapt to the needs of the individual as their life and needs change.
- The program should be long enough to make a difference. There is no set timeframe for recovery. Every recovering addict is different and the length of time he or she is involved in treatment should be precisely how long they need to adequately recover.
- The program should address underlying issues. A good program will look for and properly diagnosis any co-occurring disorders that may have contributed to or been affected by drug abuse.
- The program should be tailored to the needs of the individual. There is no one, single treatment program that will work for every person. An effective program will be individually created for each person and their unique needs.
If you or someone you love in San Diego has a problem with drugs or alcohol, you need to find help as quickly as possible. Here at Axis, we can help you find your way, so you and your family can forge ahead without the costly effects of addiction in your lives.