Meth use on the rise in Bexar County

Judge cites increase in Felony Drug Court screening

SAN ANTONIO – Of the 104 applicants for Felony Drug Court enrollment since January, a whopping 65% were methamphetamine users, according to Judge Ernie Glenn.

Glenn said that's an increase of 31% over the number of methamphetamine users among the Felony Drug Court graduates in April.

“I think we are already into an epidemic of methamphetamine addiction,” Glenn said Tuesday.

Some major contributing factors, users are quick to admit, are the cost and availability of the drug.

“It’s gotten so cheap and so easy to get ahold of,” said Cody Lachappelle. “Everybody is doing it.”

Lachappelle is among the people admitted into the program in January. He said that the drug hits hard.

“It hooks you immediately,” he said. “I lost all control, I mean, instantly.”

Gabriel Rivera was among the 34% of the Felony Drug Court graduates in April whose drug of choice was meth. Opiates accounted for only 20%.

“It broke me. It broke my life,” Rivera said. “My choice now is I’m not going to do that. I don’t want it. I don’t desire it. It destroys lives.”

Glenn said the lack of medical intervention options that are available to heroin users is complicating the epidemic. They have the option of methadone treatment.

“There is not a medical intervention like that for methamphetamines, not at this point,” Glenn said.

That makes life tough for people like Lachappelle, who is committed to winning the battle as he makes his third attempt at quitting.

“I can’t go back to doing the things that I was doing,” he said. “It’s going to kill me.”

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