Archive for  November 11th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Just over a week ago Channel 13 told you opioid related deaths are on the decline, according to preliminary data from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). But as the state works to conquer one addiction, an old foe is making a comeback.

“Methamphetamine has never gone away in Iowa, at least not in the last 15 to 20 years,” Dale Woolery the Interim Director of the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy said.

Iowans are now being admitted to treatment for a meth use disorder than ever before. The IDPH is finding from 2012-2016 the rate for methamphetamine related treatment admissions nearly doubled.

“We haven’t heard as much about it in recent years because meth labs have almost become non-existent; they are extremely rare,” Woolery said. “We’re looking at only 20-25 this year compared to 1,000-1,500 at the high water mark 15 years ago. So that has gone in a good direction.” But Iowans are still finding ways to get the drug.

“Not only is addiction a concern, but so is meth, and psycho-stimulant, related deaths,” Woolery said.

Methamphetamine related deaths in Iowa are increasing eight-fold since 2011, according to the IDPH. Just from 2016-2017, deaths involving meth jumped by more than 23 percent.

Woolery says regardless if preliminary data shows opioid deaths are down or meth use is up, it’s more about the bigger picture when it comes to this issue.

“It’s really not about a drug type or another drug type. It’s more about addicted substances generally,” Woolery said.

In regards to meth in Iowa’s young population, the Iowa Youth Surveys statewide are reporting rates near zero for the past several years, according to the IDPH.

JOHNSTON, Iowa — On Sunday the country will pause to honor the veterans who served our country, but Saturday at the Iowa Gold Star Museum Iowa veterans helped recognize each other.

“There are very few things in the military that anyone can say ‘I did that all by myself, this was a one man operation’ ‘cause that’s not the way the military works” said Larry Spencer.

Retired Commander Spencer was the keynote speaker. Spencer spent nearly seven years as a POW after he was shot down over Vietnam. Today, his message was camaraderie.

“Some people feel like there wasn’t anything unique that they did while they were in the military, you know, ‘I did my job and I put my four years in and then I got out’ said Spencer.

Spencer says that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

“Everybody has to do their part, and you realize that yes, some jobs are more glamorous or have more visibility, but all the jobs that have to get done are important” he said.

It was also an opportunity for the community to say thanks, something Vietnam veteran Michael Booker didn’t take for granted.

“People make you feel welcome and appreciated and that was kind of a hard thing to swallow coming back, you weren’t appreciated for your service but it was something we had to do, and we did it” said Booker.

Both Booker and Spencer say while appreciation was shown to them by people of all ages, they appreciate the amount of young Iowans who came out.

“I think it’s important for them because if you don’t know where you came from, how do you know where you’re going to go?” said Booker.

“It gives you a tremendous feeling of happiness, of belief and restoring your faith that yes, people do get the big picture when they take a step back and look at it” said Spencer.

The Gold Star Museum also hosted a supply drive for veterans in need.