Drugs, alcohol, prescriptions and sex seem to be everywhere we turn, and Springfield, MO. is no exception. In fact, heroin-related deaths in Missouri rose almost 800% between 2004 and 2014. Springfield police seized more heroin in 2015 than the total from three years earlier and seized more than 10 times that in 2016. Heroin isn’t the only thing gracing Springfield’s streets with its’ presence, there are also ample supplies of prescription drugs and meth.
All things considered, drug-use is Springfield, MO. accounts for many deaths. Between September and December 2017, were 45 opioid overdose deaths in Greene County. Of those, 15 were from fentanyl, eight were heroin and the rest were prescription drugs, in a story by Jackie Rehwald in the Newsleader.
One of the biggest drug busts in Springfield, MO. happened in a local home where 12 pounds of meth and 6.5 pounds of heroin was seized by authorities. But drugs have not stayed on the streets – they are found in prisons and, more alarmingly, schools.
In 2014 Springfield Public Schools reported a total of 138 drug-related incidents. Students are sneaking everything from prescription drugs to meth onto school property for personal consumption and/or for sale. Luckily though, this figure has not risen over the last few years according to an article found here.
The thing that I want to ask is why are people drawn to drugs? What is the thing which keeps them going back for more? Perhaps delving into a bit of science can shed light on this answer.
A Few Reasons Why People Take Drugs in Springfield, MO.
There are several reasons why people take drugs, but let’s look first at a brief description of what happens in the body when someone ingests either a prescription or something more potent. Just as certain hormones and neuropeptide combinations are created in the brain, flushed through the body and bind to specific receptors producing a response, drugs act much in the same way, often producing feelings of well-being and joy which can be felt throughout the body.
This “high,” when not found naturally in a person’s life, can often be found again and again in the consumption of certain drugs or alcohol. The question then is not, “why are people addicted to drugs,” but rather, “why aren’t people naturally feeling a sense of well-being and joy in their day-to-day lives?”
Aside from certain drugs being legal, such as alcohol, prescriptions and cigarettes, one reason people start using is due to peer pressure.
We all want to fit in, we all want a sense of belonging and the satisfaction of having our own “tribe,” so we tend to do what our friends do. This can range from willingly trying a new substance to feeling pressured to do so by our peers.
Symptoms for depression vary widely and range from mood swings to physical pain, to other behavioral tendencies. As an escape, many people delve into self-medication in order to feel better.
Some people feel curious and decide to try something which differs from their usual routine. It’s normal to feel interested in something else- sometimes this “something else” is an illegal drug.
Most people are strongly influenced by the community in which they live. When you think “frat house,” images of partying, beer, alcohol and other rambunctious events tumble through many people’s minds. As such, if a person grew up in a household where doing certain drugs is OK, this may have an influence on them and their choices.
Impulsivity is a trait some people have which has been identified as a risk factor for alcohol and substance abuse. Instead of waiting for a reward, many people with this trait often don’t want to wait for delayed gratification and instead opt for immediate gratification.
Suffering may be at the heart of many addictive disorders. Drugs may be seen as a great way to escape or mask unwanted emotions a person may experience.
The point is there are many reasons a person may start taking drugs, and understanding the “why” behind it may be just the thing which supports them in recovering. There are many organizations in Springfield, MO. which specialize in supporting people in the road to recovery, and there is even a national hotline and free service called SAMHSA which supports people 365 days a year. Their phone number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and their website can be found here.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, there is always help. If you or someone you know needs help, sit down and talk with them. Listen to what they have to say and refer them to the above websites and/or hotline.
Wishing you all the best!