Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a dangerous drug that directly affects the central nervous system. It can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected to use the drug. What makes meth so deadly is that it’s highly addictive and its effects, both long-term and short-term, are severely detrimental to the body and the brain.
History of Meth
Meth was created in Japan during WWII. It was a cheap drug used to give users a stimulating effect of pleasure and energy. It was given to kamikaze pilots right before they would carry out their fatal missions.
Meth didn’t get its start in the U.S. until the 1960s. It was made popular by biker gangs that used and made it. Meth became popular due to how easy it was to make it and its cheapness.
What’s in Meth?
Methamphetamine is a man-made drug composed of toxic chemicals, some of which are used for everyday purposes. Meth contains:
- Acetone – Used in nail polish remover
- Hydrochloric acid – Used to remove rust from metal and make the metal shiny again
- Red Phosphorus – Used in road flares
- Lithium – Found in items such as mobile phone batteries
- Sulfuric Acid – Used in drain cleaners
- Toluene – solvent for fuel additive
- Sodium hydroxide
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Lighter fluid
- Iodine Crystals
Effects of Meth
Methamphetamine acts as a stimulant for the nervous system. The drug fills the brain with dopamine, the neurotransmitter that causes pleasure and an overall good feeling, which causes a “high”. Users experience an energy rush and a boost in mood. The drug also makes the user believe that they can do superhuman things and push themselves past their limits. When the effects of meth wear off after four to eight hours, the user experiences a “crash”. The crash causes users to suffer a physical or mental brea
The addiction starts when an individual uses meth to continue to stay high. Eventually, it’ll get to a point to where the user can no longer get high off meth. Continued usage of meth has some other side effects besides the loss of pleasure, which include:
- Decreased appetite
- High blood pressure
- Aggression and violence
- Mood swings
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Tooth decay
- Memory loss and symptons similar to Alzheimer’s
- Severe malnutrition
All of these effects contribute to why meth users look skinnier, frail, and older. They also struggle to remember basic things like getting up for work and eating. Meth causes someone to lose the ability to function properly without the drug.
Meth User Statistics
- The average age of methamphetamine users in 2012 was 19.7 years old.
- Meth caused 103,000 ER visits in 2011
- Meth abuse has dropped from 8.1% in 2005 to 5.6% in 2011
- There were 1.2 million that tried meth in 2011
Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment
The effects of are deadly. Meth users find it hard to function properly, hold down a job, or remember things on their own. If you or a loved one suffers from meth addiction, don’t solve the problem on your own, because that will lead to more problems. Check into rehab, which offers plan designed around the patient to put them on the road to recovery. Rehab offers training on learning to live sober and function properly in society once again. Drug rehab programs also help the families of the affected patient as well by giving tips on how to help the patient stay sober.
Even though meth has the potential to ruin a person’s life, there’s always hope. The best way to avoid all of this, however, is never touching methamphetamine. There are better coping mechanisms out there that won’t destroy your life.