Gulfport, Mississippi is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capitol of Jackson. It is located in Southern Mississippi on the coast of the Gulf. The city’s population, as of 2013, is 71,012, which is 99% urban. The city boats a fairly balanced racial population. It has a population those records 87.5% with a high school diploma or higher. The top three industries in the city are construction, art/entertainment/recreation, and public administration; with an unemployment rate of 9.5% in June of 2014.
Gulfport Drug Problem
Gulfport is currently battling with a drug problem that is terrorizing the entire area. Local residents now have to deal with gunshots echoing through their streets and reverberating in their homes. Residents are forced to change their way of life in response to the increased amount of danger. Children are undoubtedly going to suffer the worst from this new level of violence as they hear and see death and destruction around their once safe neighborhoods. The end of this past month, April, local residents were witness to two more murders in their community as an 18 year old male was gunned down in the months closing weekends.
These last killings, while specific and not random, are making locals feel uneasy and unsafe in their own homes. These acts of fatal violence have been fueled by drug deals. Residents are severely concerned over the rise in violent criminal acts in their communities. The apartment buildings, like all others, are very compact and have thin walls. No one is truly safe in these wild-west style shootings. These shootings are mirror images of the national issues that are currently plaguing the United States.
Local authorities pin the escalating violence and acts of the criminal subculture on the illegal drug sales that are increasing in Gulfport. Police chief of the area states that the violence has taken lives of five young black men or boys, except for one woman in the 22 people shot with fifteen being wounded. The police a simply under staffed and underfunded to combat the rising violence and criminal activity, like the majority of the countries police force and require the help of local residents. The police chief issued a strong plea for help from locals to rise up against the violence instead of turning a blind eye, and a stern warning to those committing the crimes. His conference has been going viral on social media as well as internet radio where he repeated his speech.
Throughout the nation spice is on the rise. It is advertised as a safe and legal substitute for marijuana. The actually drug is a chemical mixture that is sprayed or soaked onto shredded plant material. The chemical concoctions are varied batch to batch and company to company; making it impossible for users to know what they are ingesting. Governing authorities on controlled substances are constantly banning specific mixtures as they are produced, but Spice manufacturers are simply adjusting the chemical makeup to circumvent the law. The drug is marketed towards young adults because they consider it legal marijuana. Due to its high level of toxicity, availability, and easy access the drug is incredibly dangerous.
The dangers of spice are severe. There are some reported cases of Spice users severely and horrifically hurting their loved ones. Gulfport doctors are warning local residents of the extreme effects he is witnessing from the use of Spice. According to the University of Mississippi, medical workers have seen more than 85 cases of emergency room visits from Spice smokers in the first two weeks of April. Local doctor’s state that those entering the emergency room are experimenting the exact opposite effects that marijuana creates. Users are experiencing severe psychosis, screaming, yelling, and acting crazy, getting very, very sweaty, and being extremely anxious. Other admissions are individuals who are virtually knocked-out and cannot be conscious for 12 to 14, even 16 hours. New cases of individuals using spice have caused them to be incubated and with kidney and muscle problems. The latest batches of Spice have created even worse results. No one knows the chemicals that they are ingesting and it results in some first time users having to go to the emergency room. Recently there has been one death that is related to Spice, a few cases of coma or vegetable status, and some that must use a breathing tube for the rest of their lives.
Law enforcement is currently working to track down Spice dealers, but it is difficult since the drug is technically legal. In Jackson, The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has confiscated a Spice stash that is worth nearly $8 million, which are about 200,000 packages.
Gulfport Drug Rehab
Dealing with drug addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of Americans every year. Gulfport, Mississippi is dealing with similar cases of substance abuse that the rest of the nation is suffering. Getting treatment for drug addiction is not difficult; rather it is getting an addict to help it that is the tough action. There are more than six local drug rehabilitation facilities that are available to anyone that wants to understand more about addiction and get the help they need to turn their lives around.
White Sands Treatment Center services the Greater Gulfport area providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation. It is a licensed and accredited substance abuse rehabilitation facility. Their goal is to help individuals overcome their addictions, help them reach personalized goals, forge healthy relationships, and advocate a positive shift back into their community. They offer an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation service that includes medically supervised Detox. For those addicts that wish to maintain their regular lifestyle, while trying to overcome addiction, the facility also offers outpatient treatment. The facility offers a wide range of services, amenities and programs that include holistic approaches to overcome addiction. They work to treat both the addiction problems and mental illnesses that accompany addiction.
The Gulf Coast Mental Health Center offers a wide array of services for both mental health and substance abuse. The trained substance abuse professionals provide clinical treatment for alcohol and drug problems through various programs including: outpatient therapy, individual and group treatment, intensive outpatient program, drug court partnership, and intensive chemical dependency therapy. There substance abuse program combines the AA/NA model with psychotherapeutic techniques.
Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services are located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi directly outside of Gulfport. It is known as one of the nation’s most comprehensive treatment campuses. It has been in operation since 1984 continuing to offer services ranging from outpatient to inpatient programs. They have a residential treatment program for adults, children and adolescents. These services provide for psychiatric and additive diseases.