DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Alarming statistics about the drug problem in Morgan County. Sheriff Ana Franklin says the overwhelming majority of meth users become addicted to the drug the very first time they use it. She says 94% of those who go through drug treatment programs for meth - fail, and never get over their addiction. She told WHNT News 19 Monday we are seeing proof of those statistics in some of the most recent arrests.
We asked Sheriff Franklin is it just us or do the meth suspects they arrest seem to be getting older? Deputies made five meth arrests over the weekend. Three of them are in their 50's including one who is 59.
"You think about the fact that you got about 4% to 6% recovery rate nationwide, for people in treatment. Now you think about the people back in the 2000's that were involved in meth, they've just grown old with the problem," Franklin says.
She says meth is a lifelong addiction for most. She says the overwhelming majority of people who just try meth one time become addicted to it. The treatment programs are up to two years long, and 96% of those who enter treatment for a meth addiction wind up going back to the drug. Franklin says people who became addicted to meth 10 or 12 years ago, if they're still alive, the vast majority are still addicted today.
"I'm hoping that maybe not as many young people are trying it, like they were before people were really educated and knew about how bad it is for them," Franklin said.
Sheriff Franklin describes the problem as an epidemic and believes only the most despondent would even think of trying it.
"It's a drug that takes you and will not let you go."
Sheriff Franklin says the treatment programs for meth are 18 to 24 months long, if you can find one, and if you can afford it. Nationwide, only 6% of those who seek treatment ever escape the drug.