The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released the results of two recently conducted national surveys that cite “broad impact on county provided services” and conclude that a growing methamphetamine crisis “continues to devastate America’s communities.”

The first report, “The Effect of Meth on Hospital Emergency Rooms” paints a picture of health care workers and facilities that have been overwhelmed with a high number of incidents and are treating many young patients with severe side effects such as stroke, heart attacks and hallucinations. Many of the local governments and counties facing the “meth” problem are rural communities facing big city problems. County sheriffs and county hospital officials reported on the survey that methamphetamine abuse is the top drug problem they are confronting.

The second survey NACo reports on the topic of treatment programs and recovery. Methamphetamine addicts face a hard road to recovery. Many are without health care and a good support system, and there are not enough treatment programs and professionals available, a particularly troubling situation since meth addiction treatment requires more recovery time and unique protocols.