Methamphetamine in the Pine Belt, the evolution of an ongoing problem

Meth in Mississippi is a problem that has not gone away, but how users get the drug has changed.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Meth in Mississippi is a problem that has not gone away, but how users get the drug has changed.

Early in the morning of Sept. 28, the Jones County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people for 103 grams of methamphetamine at a Laurel hotel.

JCSD Sgt. Jake Driskell said meth is still making its rounds, but it’s mostly seen coming from other countries like Mexico because it’s cheaper to buy it than make it here.

“Meth does not discriminate - white, black, Hispanic, old, young, middle age, middle class, upper class - this drug does not discriminate,” said Driskell. “Anybody who tries it is susceptible to being addicted to it off the very first time they use it. We don’t have people making it here anymore. It would cost 10 to 20 times more to make crystal meth here rather than to buy it. What you get from Mexico is an upper 90 percentile, even 100% pure.”

The Sheriff’s Department said that even if you are caught with 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, which is considered a personal amount, you can still be sentenced to 3-10 years. This is why it is important to reach out for help if you have a drug addiction problem.

“So once they go to the program, we do talk about healthy communication, coping skills, integrating 12-step recovery and having healthy therapy and things like that once they get here,” said Erin Konves of Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services.

Eileene McRae of the addiction center also said the recovery time is different for every person.

“Many times parents of young adults always blame themselves, that ‘maybe if we had done this or maybe if we had done that,’” said McRae. “We are not dealing with a moral issue. It’s a medical issue that involves our whole community.”

If you or anyone you know struggles with drug addictions, you can call Pine Grove’s hotline at 1-888-574-HOPE.

You can also see a list of the center’s addiction programs on the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services website.

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