I used to tell a joke onstage that, "I lost 70 lbs on the Spokane Weight Loss Program," which was true. "And it's better than Spokane's other weight loss program, which is meth." The crowd loved that joke; it got big laughs. Not because meth addiction is funny. It's not. But because everyone in that audience knew that Spokane has a serious meth problem. It's one of our worst-kept secrets.

Spokane is a Hub for Drug Trafficking

Spokane's own Mayor, Nadine Woodward, has acknowledged that drugs are a big problem in Spokane because of our proximity to Canada, and the I-90 freeway, the longest Interstate Highway in the United States, which is perfect for trafficking drugs east of our state.

A New Meth "Antidote" May Be the Answer

But now there appears to be a glimmer of hope, coming from a study in Everett. Dr. Thomas Robey at Providence Regional Medical Center is testing an "antidote."

Dr Thomas Robey, NorthSound Emergency Medicine
Dr Thomas Robey, NorthSound Emergency Medicine

The "antidote" can take a paranoid, agitated meth patient and within as little as 30 minutes, they are no longer high. And the antidote stays with them for 2 or 3 weeks, perhaps giving them enough time to find long term treatment; therapy.

It's a small study, only about 12 people have participated in Everett, and 40 or so total in the United States. But it's a start. It's something new. And it's looking good so far. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

Why We Need to Combat the Spread of Meth

Methamphetamine deaths have been increasing over the last decade, according to data collected by the University of Washington. Meth is also the most commonly found substance in drug seizures. It's highly addictive, and authorities aren't exaggerating when they say it's wide use is an epidemic.

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