Methamphetamine, or meth, is an extraordinarily potent illicit drug that has a high risk of methamphetamine addiction and abuse. Meth is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Food and Drug Administration which means it has a high potential for physiological and psychological dependence.
As of 2008 the number of people over the age of 12 who reported to have used Methamphetamine in their life was 13 million with nearly 530,000 reporting to be habitual users.
The process for creating methamphetamine relies on combining caustic chemicals that have a high hazard potential. This makes Methamphetamine a particularly nefarious drug. Meth is not naturally occurring; the substance is instead concocted through a perilous chemical reaction that involves mixing cold medicine with heated industrial solvents and pressurizing the brew. This is a significantly dangerous and volatile process that is routinely miscalculated which is known to cause large explosions that can level whole buildings to the ground.
Methamphetamine is derived from amphetamine which was developed in Germany for medical purposes. Later it was developed as methamphetamine and was used during World War I and World War II as a way to energize soldiers and airmen and as a way to keep them awake during long nights. Adolf Hitler himself was prescribed methamphetamine by his doctor Theodor Morell and some historians have even speculated that Hitler’s erratic and irrational behavior at the tail end of the war was a result of his addiction to methamphetamine and subsequently cost him the war.
Amphetamine was used in the United States primarily as an over-the-counter diet drug but was restricted to prescription only due to its highly addictive nature and the several negative side-effects that accompany it. Methamphetamine came into prominence as an alternative drug used recreationally. It is particularly popular in rural desolate parts of the country where cocaine is too expensive and where there is open land to host a “meth lab”— a home drug lab where methamphetamine is created out of every day home items.
The meth trade had been primarily organized by American motorcycle gangs like The Hells Angels from the 1980s until the mid-2000s. These days though it is mostly controlled by Mexican drug cartels in “Super-Labs” which are more professional and advanced in scope than the American counterparts.
It is estimated that Mexican drug cartels along the American border control 80 percent of the drug’s market share.
Like cocaine, meth is a stimulant, however it is several levels of magnitude more potent. One dose of methamphetamine will usually last approximately eight hours while a similar dosage of cocaine lasting only thirty minutes.
Common Slang for Methamphetamine:
Meth is usually smoked in a pipe but can also be freebased, injected, and even eaten. Once inside, the initial effects of methamphetamine on the user are a sense of boundless energy and euphoria. Increased activity and wakefulness are associated with Methamphetamine use and it is not uncommon for users to go several days without sleep while high on the drug.
The substance quickly begins to wreak havoc on the body causing a staggering number of negative effects. Like all drugs, the body eventually develops a tolerance for it. This causes the user to turn up the dosage in order to achieve the same level of pleasure as before. As time passes it becomes impossible to function or feel “normal” without using the drug.
Effects of Meth Addiction:
- Irreversible damage to cardiovascular system
- Irregular heart-beat
- Extreme tooth decay, also known as “meth mouth” from smoking
- Damage to internal organs including liver, kidney, and lungs
- Deterioration of mental ability
- Death from overdose
As with all drugs there are dangers to consider beyond the physiological harm of meth. Specifically, users of the drug are at more prone to engage in risky lifestyles which could jeopardize their lives. They are more prone to infection and STDs from sharing needles. Holding down a stable job becomes more and more difficult with each use until it is all but impossible. Because the drug consumes every aspect of their identity, they are more likely to neglect not only their bodies, but their homes. Often they live in squalor surrounded by heaps of garbage and filth. They are more prone to criminal activities such as robbery, burglary, and prostitution in order to continue their habit and they will manipulate existing relationships into helping them provide money for the drug, often resulting in loss of friends and family until the only company they keep are other addicts.
Methamphetamine addiction withdrawal poses significant danger to those who must face it. Because the substance is highly potent and produces a strong high, the resulting crash is as equally severe.
Symptoms of Methamphetamine Withdrawal:
- Strong desire for the drug
- Sleep irregularities: periods of deep sleep followed by inability to sleep
- Night terrors
- Chills, fever, and cold sweating
- Uncontrollable shaking
Users of Methamphetamine need professional care as it is exceedingly difficult to kick this habit alone or even under the supervision of close friends and family who mean well. At Bay Area Recovery Center we properly supervise and rehabilitate clients with chronic meth addiction every day. If you or someone you love is grappling with methamphetamine addiction call us immediately at 713-705-3457 so we can get you or your loved on the road to recovery.
Bay Area Recovery Center has successfully treated individuals dependent on drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. People need to know treatment does work and there is life after methamphetamine addiction. Let us use our experience and expertise to develop a detox and treatment plan that is personalized to your situation. The illness of addiction is not something you or your family should have to go through alone. We can help. Call us now (713) 705-3457 or (281) 924-9846.
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