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WSU Vancouver Breaks Bad

After ten years of research and analysis, Jackie McReynolds, senior instructor in human development, presented a lecture on methamphetamines, in the department’s first colloquium session this semester on campus.  Colloquium is an informal meeting with different lecturers presenting information on their field of interest.

McReynolds approaches the field of the effects of meth as a children’s advocate. The question McReynolds set out to answer with her research is “What is the biggest issue regarding meth?

Even after ten years of researching and realizing the damage meth use can do to people, especially innocent children, and the unborn, McReynolds keeps her outlook positive, stating, “These are not bad people; they are addicted.”

Starting her research with literature reviews, she began to present one to two hour presentations on what meth is. Now, ten years later, McReynolds has held 37 conference training sessions that are one to two days long, regional and national, including working with Court Appointed Special Advocate groups and State social workers.

The Nazis introduced meth to their troops as the “miracle drug” to keep them motivated according to McReynolds. Unfortunately, back then as is now, the side effects of meth are horrendous. Meth is highly addictive; according to McReynolds, 42% of people who use meth once use it a second time, and after second use, 84% continue use.

Addiction can happen to anyone. This inviting way to lose weight and have endless energy attracted middle class American women referred to as “soccer moms,” according to McReynolds. The physiological impact that occurs after continued use, including increased heart rate, increased respiratory, constricting blood vessels, sweat glands shutting down, digestive issues, increased body temp and other effects, including gums rotting and loss of teeth.  The list also includes infections, loss of limbs and even death. McReynolds shared the project photos called “The Faces of Meth” showing the progression of damage meth causes with continued use.

McReynolds also had information to share regarding effects from in utero exposure, including clinical outcomes of smaller head size, feeding and sleep disturbances, developmental delays and ADD. Children living in meth homes also experience increasing poverty and maltreatment, not to mention exposure to toxins in their environment.

Many of these ill effects are irreversible; however, research suggests there is hope. Controlling the active ingredients, implementing longer treatment programs, and increasing family support, recovery is possible although the first four to six months are critical. Prenatal meth use damages are significantly reduced if the mother stops use prior in her third trimester of pregnancy.

Another colloquium this semester will be presented by a WSU Vancouver graduate who is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at PSU. These events are held on Thursday’s from noon -1:15 p.m. in VUB, classroom number TBA. Look for information to come on the WSU Vancouver website after dates have been finalized.

Jackie McReynolds, M.S. presenting a powerpoint of brain scans, one healthy, the other a 15 year old meth user explaining the irreversible damage being done

Jackie McReynolds, M.S. presenting a powerpoint of brain scans, one healthy, the other a 15 year old meth user explaining the irreversible damage being done

Marcelo Diversi, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Human Development (HD) Jackie McReynolds, M.S., Senior Instructor Department of HD Elizabeth Benner, M.A. Academic and Internship Coordinator Department of HD Suzanne Smith, Ph.D., Director, Associate Professor Department of HD

Marcelo Diversi, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Human Development (HD)
Jackie McReynolds, M.S., Senior Instructor Department of HD
Elizabeth Benner, M.A. Academic and Internship Coordinator Department of HD
Suzanne Smith, Ph.D., Director, Associate Professor Department of HD

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