Hattiesburg, Mississippi was founded by civil engineer William H. Hardy in the year of 1882, in honor of his wife Hattie. It first expanded as a center for lumber and railroad industries. Currently the city is attracting newcomers for its diversity of economy, strong neighborhoods, and central location in South Mississippi. It is home to both The University of South Mississippi and William Carey University. It also houses Camp Shelby, which is the largest National Guard training base east of the Mississippi river. As of 2010, there were approximately 45,989 residents in Hattiesburg. It is home to several national business branches.
Hattiesburg Drug Problem
Mississippi is witnessing a drug issue that it has never seen before. Synthetic marijuana is responsible for an array of issues across the state and country. Synthetic marijuana is shredded plant material that is sprayed or soaked in chemicals the chemicals are ever changing to evade the increased legal restrictions on the chemical substances. There is no specific recipe for the drug, so users never know what they are getting. This is what makes the drug so dangerous. Users are virtually playing Russian roulette with their lives when they use synthetic marijuana. The blend was created to mimic the effects that marijuana has on the brain, but it does not create the same effect. Spice can cause severe agitation, hyperactivity, anxiety, high blood pressure, racing heartbeat, muscle spasms, seizures, tremors, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, coma, muscle breakdown and kidney failure. There have been several reports of severely heinous crimes involving violence and fatality.
The drug has become so popular because it is 100 times more potent than marijuana. The drug is definitely not for human consumption, although it is sold in gas stores, head shops, and via the internet. Local authorities are cracking down on the local dealers and arresting shop owners in possession of the drug, by any means necessary.
The legal cannabinoid, known as Spice, K2, fake weed, and others, has been the culprit for a string on emergency room visits and even fatalities. Local authorities have recently made a huge drug bust of Spice. In the south Jackson apartment, approximately $8 million dollars’ worth of the drug was seized. It is suspected to be the same drug that is responsible for the rash of drug related emergency room visits in the entire Greater Jackson area, including Hattiesburg. The task force was made up of local, state, and federal agencies. It was created in response to the nearly 100 overdoses reported to the Mississippi Poison Control Center and others treated in hospitals around the state. The bust found 200,000 empty packets as well as plants and chemicals used to create the drug. Two individuals where caught with the drugs. Mississippi State Crime Lab states that there are more than 100 known spice compounds and 30 to 40 have been identified in Mississippi. The lab believes they have found the compound that is causing the overdoses, but they are not completely positive.
Hospitalizations as a result of the smoking of synthetic marijuana called Spice has lead authorities to crack down on the sale of the ‘legal’ substance. At the end of April, a man was admitted to the Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi after smoking spice. He reported hearing voices and was clearly agitated. They had admitted him and then things escalated. The young man became paranoid and hostile. He claimed that people were trying to break in and kill him. At which point, he began breaking down solid wooden doors and glass ones in an attempt to escape. The episode seemed like the actions of an individual with a history of severe psychiatric illnesses, but he had no such history. The recent escalation of these types of events has authorities across the nation worried about the spread of synthetic marijuana users. It is even more difficult for medical professionals to treat the incoming hysterical patients because the chemicals are unknown and constantly being tweaked to avoid being labeled illegal. The quickness with which the drug manufacturers can change the chemical makeup of the drug makes the job of the police force nearly impossible. The tests for the chemical cannot be created quickly enough to keep up with the changing formulas. The action of ingesting or smoking spice can seem safe and negligible, but people are dying from the drug; even after a single use.
Rehab Options in Hattiesburg
Hattiesburg, MS is suffering from the same substance abuse that occurs across the country. Individuals suffering from substance abuse need to get the help they need before it is too late. An addict never knows when their next fix is going to be their last. Hattiesburg is also the home to University of Southern Mississippi. University life and culture has evolved into an atmosphere of drug and alcohol experimentation and abuse making the area more prone to addiction and substance related crimes. If you or anyone you know is suffering from an addiction seeking professional treatment is the best way to overcome addiction and Hattiesburg has nine treatment centers located in the area.
The Hope Center offers a wide variety of services for individuals in need. The dedicated staff of the Hope Center offers competent, caring services to meet the needs of any individual. They offer adult, child, and adolescent individual counseling. Relationship counseling for marital/couples, family, parent, and work relationships. Their group counseling can cover healing from personal crisis, eating disorders, and alcohol/drug abuse. Their evaluation programs can help addicts and provide them with career choice and career transitions. They also offer interventions. Consultations with families of addicted individuals and facilitation of interventions to get individuals with addiction issues into treatment can be provided by the center.
The Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources facility has been helping the Hattiesburg community for over thirty years. Their chemical dependency services offer after care counseling, D.U.I. assessment and counseling, and family counseling. They can offer individual, family and group counseling. They have an intensive outpatient program for those who want to improve their lives without changing everyday activities or responsibilities. Pine Belt also has a clinically effective residential program that can offer long-term care for addicts.