What Is Meth?

No drug over the last ten years has received the concentrated focus of the mass media, Hollywood, and citizen groups quite like crystal meth. While cocaine is often portrayed as being dangerous, but still cool, meth has been characterized as an instant destroyer of life. It is unknown how many people in the U.S. currently use meth, but other than marijuana, it is widely considered to be the most commonly used illegal drug. What makes matters even more difficult to deal with is that anyone with basic chemistry knowledge can create meth and the drug is incredibly inexpensive, which means that the general public has almost universal access to it.

The Drug

Meth is short for meth-amphetamines, one of the most powerful and powerfully addictive drugs in the world. The drug works mainly on the central nervous system and acts as a stimulant. Although the creation of meth is extremely dangerous and the concept of meth labs exploding and killing the people inside has almost become a running joke in today’s society, the fact that such a powerfully addictive drug can be created by an average person using mostly over-the-counter items from any grocery store is extremely troublesome. In areas in the Midwestern United States and in mostly rural states like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, meth addiction has reached epic proportions. Meth is readily available throughout most of the world and in every big city in North America. It is often referred to as meth, but also goes by speed, ice, glass, and crank. Meth is often done alone or mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine to create a speedball. Much like cocaine, meth was originally created for medical use and was used to treat lung issues. Today, meth can still be prescribed for serious conditions like narcolepsy.

The Impact of Meth Abuse

While Western media would love you to believe that if you smoke a single marijuana cigarette, snort a single line of coke, or drop one pill of Ecstasy, you will be instantly addicted for life, homeless within a week, and dead within a month, many sufferers of meth addiction actually report that very reaction. The current ad campaign used to help deter people from using meth is titled, “Not Even Once,” and although meth usage in the United States continues to rise, it is a wise message to heed. No other drug currently used in the U.S. has such a drastic and instant impact on a person as meth does. The now famous before and after photographs of what a meth addict looked like before they began using, compared to after, are everywhere and have done wonders to help scare kids and adults alike from trying this dangerous drug. No drug, not even heroin, is considered as dangerous, as harmful, and as completely and utterly addictive as meth, mostly because of its ease of availability, its price, and the way it affects the human body. Meth is one drug that you don’t want to experiment with.

Symptoms of Meth Addiction

Like most drugs, meth has both short term and long term effects. While most people would consider the short term effects to be positive (the “high” of the drug”), hyperthermia is often experienced and can be fatal if not treated. The long term effects are universally negative. A person often undergoes extreme paranoia, hallucinations, significant weight loss due to the fact that meth suppresses your appetite, increased likelihood of a stroke, and more. Since meth causes huge amounts of dopamine to be released into the brain, the receptors for dopamine can be damaged, which causes significant mood swings if used for too long.

Consequences of Meth Addiction

Police and lawmakers around the country are cracking down on meth addiction since it has become such a problem from coast to coast. A person may have been sent to rehab and received a light jail sentence 15 years ago, but now, you can expect to serve a minimum amount of time in jail as well as pay a heavy fine. If you are caught selling meth, you could go to jail for the rest of your life. Meth addicts often have a difficult and long road to recovery ahead of them, but a full recovery is possible with the right support.

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