Wednesday, December 02, 2009

America's forgotten epidemic

I caught the following little clip from MSNBC.com, referencing what I call America's forgotten epidemic: Meth addiction.

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I remember the nights I was on call during summer I was doing Clinical Pastoral Education as a chaplain at the University of Tennessee medical center. If there was a night down in the Emergency Room where they had less than a dozen cases that came in of Meth addicts, it was considered a good night.

The E.R. doctors and nurses called this one section of the E.R. "the Green Mile because many times there so many cases of Meth users that flooded the E.R. that the patients were given distinctive green hospital gowns and lined up in the hallway because they had run out of rooms to place them all as they slept it off and went into various stages of Detox withdrawal. The E.R. staff didn't refer to that hallway as the "Green Mile" to be mean, it was just so heart breaking that you had to resort to Hawkeye Pierce/M*A*S*H style "gallows" humor or you'd go crazy.

It's cheap, easy to make, prevalent in rural areas, and as the people in the video clip above attest to, incredibly addictive and destructive.

Truly a sad epidemic.

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