In 2016, almost 0.6% of the US population were using Meth, with the average consumers age between the early twenties. In 2018 the number of users increased to almost 0.7%, while the age bracket reduced to early teens. Seeing as though meth abuse is growing, it’s time we get into what meth really is, how it affects us, and what the long term damage can be.
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, dope, or crystal, is an immensely addictive man-made drug. This drug has immediate impact on the nervous system. The instant impact provides a thrill to the user and makes it ideal for leisure purposes. However, as we will see later, this leisure usage can lead to addiction.
History of Meth
The production of meth dates backs to the 19th century. But, meth gained much popularity in the second world war of the 20th century, where the front-line soldiers used it to remain alert and awake on the borders.
The highly addictive substance is legally used in medicines that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Because it influences the nervous system, meth helps patients in focusing on regular activities. In rare cases, it is used to evoke and simulate patients of severe brain injuries. These medicines are only given to special patients and by professional only.
How Meth is Made
Apart from the above, Meth has no legal status; the manufacture, sale and use of any other form of meth is prohibited. Thus the manufacturing of the drug is done in ways which conceals the true purpose of its existence. Such units can be found in any residence or locality posing a threat to the entire neighborhood. The key indicators of a suspected meth workshop to look out for are:
- Gloomy look, with little or no light
- Continuous smell of solvent emitting from the place
- The place is equipped with a lot of ventilation or spots to release air.
- Large pots and containers with certain melted and others losing its shape are in the vicinity
- The litter contains a mix of medicine, proteins and acid containers
- The working staff continually remains awake and alert.
Such a place should be reported to the officials immediately. The production of Meth is dangerous, and many incidents of fires and burning have taken place. The ingredients of meth are all prone to catch fire. The by-product and remaining debris are also lethal to humans and the environment.
As the production and use of meth is not legal, the ingredients are not fixed and the users interchange the main ingredients. The basic technique comprises of the extraction of ephedrine, while adding alkaline constituent with water. The extricated Meth is heated with an acid to formulate the Meth crystals. Recently, a method of self-making by trembling and roasting at home is now being used. Regardless, it’s important to crack down on all the ways meth is being created. Especially in residential neighborhoods.
How is Meth Used?
Meth or ice is inhaled through the nose, taken as a pill and entered through the mouth in the body, inserted in the retinal area, injected like shots mixed with a liquid or the most common form is to smoke it through pipe. Meth is an extremely fast reactor, the impact takes over the body in a short span of time and ends in a flash too.
Health Effects of Meth
Meth has extreme detrimental effects on the psychological and physical well-being of the consumer. It enhances the production of Dopamine hormone. Dopamine directs the brain in deciphering happiness, motivation, reward and movement. The artificial production results in the brain signaling the body towards extreme happiness along with extreme alertness, extra dose of energy and hyper activity which at times result in aggression.
Meth has the power of directing the brain towards its regular use. The long term use of the drug weakens the thinking and decision making capabilities of the brain. Along with destroying the immune system, long term use of the drug results in the damage of teeth and oral health issues, anxiety, weight loss, insomnia and behavioral problems. Regular intake and rapid changes in the dopamine level negatively impact the memory and emotional balance, making the user’s attitude irrational. Plus let’s not forget the normal functioning of living, which is changed while using meth. In the long run, meth may also lead to the user contracting the Parkinson’s syndrome.