A Few Important Facts About Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is the second leading drug threat in the US. Most of the drug supply comes from so-called superlabs in both the US and foreign countries. But small, illegal meth labs have also become a dangerous threat in neighborhoods, to the people in the labs creating the drugs, and to the environment. Meth is bad because it can kill a first-time user and may lead to heart failure. It also can kill due to overheating, convulsions and coma. The possibility of meth overdose deaths is quite high.

The decline of Mexican meth production was significant, resulting in decreased US availability, and the production of domestic methamphetamine is projected to exceed before. A report released by the RAND Corporation indicates that the economic costs of methamphetamine use in the United States reached $23.4 billion in 2005. Two-thirds of the costs resulting from the burden of addition and the estimated 900 premature deaths among users in 2005. Crime, criminal justice, health care, production, environmental hazards, and child endangerment costs were also included.

Methamphetamine (also commonly called meth and crystal meth) is a synthetic chemical that acts as a stimulant in the body. It can be made from drain cleaner, antifreeze, lantern fuel, and battery acid. O the streets, it is also known as black beauties, biker’s coffee, chalk, chicken feed, crystal meth, crank, ice, meth, and a few others. It appears as a type of crystal powdered substance, often found in large chunks that look like rocks. When the powder flakes off from the rock, the shards look like glass, one of the street names for meth. The color of meth depends on its purity. It is usually white or slightly yellow. It is injected, smoked, snorted, or swallowed for use.

Users of meth experience a sense of energy, but the drug pushes the human body faster and beyond what is normal. Meth increases blood pressure, heart rate, and stroke risk. Users who smoke or inject the drug get an intense sensation often called an extremely pleasurable rush or a flash, but its duration is only a few minutes. Euphoria (but not a rush or a high) results from swallowing or snorting the drug. The feeling is short-lived and is typically followed by high agitation that may lead to violent behavior.

Meth damages the brain and can cause strokes and irreversible brain damage. Prolonged use can cause teeth to crack or deteriorate, requiring extraction. These conditions occur due to the user’s poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, and tooth grinding and clenching. Its short-term and long-term effects include addiction, anxiety, brain structural and functional changes, confusion, dental problems, heart attack, hyperthermia, hypertension, increased respiration, insomnia, mood disturbances, psychotic episodes, stroke, violent behavior, liver, lung, and kidney damage, potentially leading to death, severe crash after drug’s effects wear off, and severe or unhealthy weight loss.

Meth is a Schedule II drug under Federal classification and is highly addictive and illegal. Consumers can quickly develop a tolerance and need larger amounts to get high. Its withdrawal symptoms include severe craving, disruptions in sleep patterns, depression, and confusion.

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