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IDPH: Methamphetamines surpass marijuana as second drug Iowans seeking help for

A man with addiction problems opens up to KIMT to talk about his struggles.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 8:51 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 7:54 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa- It's a daily battle for some.

“Every single day is a struggle,” said Brent Svejda of Mason City.

Since high school, Svejda’s been battling substance abuse.

“In and out of treatment facilities several times,” he said.

When it comes to those seeking help, he wasn’t surprised to learn that the IDPH is showing more people are now entering treatment for methamphetamine over marijuana for the first time. Alcohol remains number one for adults.

“I’ve heard kids say it is easier to get a sack of meth than it is a bag of weed,” Svejda said.

Now with three kids of his own, he and his fiancé said they are going to be open about the struggles with addiction.

“It’s very scary,” he said. “We want them to know the struggles we went through.”

And that is something those with Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral l Healthcare say is important for Svejda and anyone battling addiction.

“The children of individuals with addiction have a four times higher rate when they become adults of addiction in comparison to that population that doesn’t have that in their family history,” said Kelly Grunhovd, Community Services Director for Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral l Healthcare.

Locally, Grunhovd and her staff are still seeing more people coming in for treatment for marijuana but it’s not by much.

“A couple percentage points,” she said. “Over the course of a year, that might be ten or less people.”

Svejda has been sober for the last two years minus a few slips.

“I’m having a bad day, I run into someone who has whatever and boom, I’m back on my knees,” he said.

He wants everyone to understand the daily struggles and stigma that come with being an addict.

“Addicts are not bad people,” he said. “Sometimes we do bad things to get out fix, but we’re no different from anyone else. We’re just sick.”

Those with the IDPH and Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral l Healthcare both say alcohol is still the number one drug people are seeking help with.

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