A need for more compassion in society
With all of the recent focus on use of heroin and other opioids in Butte County, we may have overlooked a familiar and highly engaging substance that has plagued our community since at least the 1980s and shows no sign of going away. Methamphetamine is as pleasurable as cocaine but much cheaper, with effects that last longer. Meth is widely available and can be ingested in a variety of ways, making it a popular choice on the street.
Unfortunately, methamphetamine is highly addictive and causes both physical deterioration and brain damage over periods of extended use, some of which is likely irreversible. Symptoms often include premature loss of teeth, accelerated aging, quick temper, anxiety, twitching and various psychotic delusions including paranoia.
Evidence of long-term meth use among Butte County’s street and park dwellers can include a disorganized campsite with nonsensical accumulations of scattered and miscellaneous items; repetitious words and jerky body movements; and loud argumentative behavior with little provocation.
We often discuss what a compassionate society ought or ought not to do for those who have lost their way. It has become obvious to me that we live in a time and place where any adult is free to slowly destroy himself and die an early death, and no one will stop him. This does not sound like compassion to me.
— Carl Ochsner, Chico