The Surprising Cost of Meth

In Tennessee, there is a lot of talk about the toll meth takes on the state and its residents. Meth continues to be costly for residents of the Volunteer State. In fiscal year 2011, 1,066 people in Tennessee received publicly funded treatment for meth abuse at a cost of $2.8 million in federal and state funds, according to the comptroller’s report.

The Cost of Meth Treatment

The Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force found one meth-burn patient at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who required four months of critical care treatment at a price tag of $1 million.

Hospitals are also paying the price. Surgeons at the state’s burn units in Nashville and Memphis are becoming adept at rebuilding the melted body parts of addicts. Dr. Bill Hickerson, the plastic surgeon who runs the unit at The MED in Memphis, told The Tennessean that he has treated patients multiple times for repeat burns from meth lab explosions. And treatment isn’t cheap.

Those early cases were often more extreme when meth was still made in a big operation. Now, a method known as “shake-and-bake,” involving household chemicals mixed in a soda bottle, means anyone can be a meth cook. The injuries may not cover as much area on the body, but the explosions can still be deadly. Treating patients whose immune systems have already been compromised by drug use is also tricky. They’re more susceptible to infections and can develop pulmonary issues.

If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addiction and co-occurring disorder, call The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

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