The Mayhem of Methamphetamine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Mayhem of Methamphetamine...

The Mayhem of Methamphetamine

Crank, Glass, Ice, Go-fast, Chalk, Crystal, Tweak, and Meth are all one in the same. Life can be hard and complicated most the time, which is why people look for a way to escape reality, even just for a second. Finding ways to be more energized, losing weight, and sleeping less, appeals to many people. Housewives who don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done, college students that need that little extra focus for their studies, and teenagers who are just looking for that next big adventure. Methamphetamine has become one of the most popular drugs of modern times, despite all of its dangerous side effects and the destruction that it causes. Something still draws people still choose to use this deadly drug.

Methamphetamine is a family member to phenethylamine, it can include a range of ingredients that are stimulants, hallucinogens, and entactogens. The full systematic name is known as N,?-dimethylbenzeneethanamine. ("European Monitoring Centre…", 2011).

Methamphetamine was created by Nagayoshi Nagia of Japan in 1893, but it was not used on a regular basis until World War II. England, America, Germany, and Japan all started to give their soldiers methamphetamine to ward off fatigue and to improve their alertness, and endurance. By the 1950’s, even though you needed a prescription, methamphetamines were prevalent in athletes, truck drivers, college students, and housewives. The FDA started banning methamphetamine inhalers around 1959 due to the increased misuse of the product. At the same time the FDA was promoting methamphetamines to help with health problems such as obesity, depression, hyperactivity (ADHD), and narcolepsy. In 1960, intravenous injections became prevalent among illicit drug users. The 1970’s Controlled Substance Act (CSA) helped to reduce the problems for a while. Meth is considered to be a schedule II drug by the CSA, which means that, “Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence” ("U.S. Department of Justice…", 2012). By the 1980’s the use of meth started rising again, due to the production of the drug in clandestine lab. The production of meth in clandestine labs is highly dangerous. With all the conflicting chemicals so close together, one wrong step, and things could easily get out of hand with explosions, fires, and poisonous fumes. If you were ever to come across a clandestine lab make sure you do not touch anything, open or move containers with chemicals or suspected chemicals. Do not sniff any containers, eat or drink or smoke in or around a lab, or turn on or off any electrical power switches or light switches. Clandestine labs are very unstable due to the mixed chemicals in the air from cooking all of the ingredients down to achieve that one specific part that is needed. Many people do not know what all is in methamphetamine. The most common ingredients are over-the-counter cold medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, hydrochloric acid, methanol, red phosphorous, sulfuric acid, lantern fuel, battery acid, ammonia, lye, ether, antifreeze, sodium hydroxide, methylene chloride, iodine, trichloroethylene, muriatic acid, table salt, toluene, and benzene are a  few. Now you ask yourself, why would anyone want to have all these chemicals in their body? They do it for the way it makes them feel, for the “high” that it gives them.

Meth is a bitter tasting, odorless, white crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. It can be smoked, taken intravenously, intranasal (snorted), orally, or absorbed through the skin.  Out of all illegal drugs, meth addiction is one of the fastest to hook the user. Meth is more of a mental addiction rather than a physical addiction. The brain gets trained to only feel good when the drug is in the user’s system, which then prompts them to use more. All the while the problematic consequences are ignored. Long time users end up having many reactions to using meth. Repetitive users create the inability to experience pleasure which is known as Anhedonia. Dopamine overwhelms the brain, over stimulating it and causing a rush feeling. They feel more energized, and more aware of their surroundings. However with a massive rush of dopamine comes a major rebound. The user is then thrust into an extreme low. With long time use people suffer from feelings similar to schizophrenia. They can experience paranoia, hyper activity, hallucinations, delusions, and aggression.  Statistically two out of three meth users will experience a form of meth induced psychosis. After the first few months of using, the user can become irrational and hyper alert. They tend to over react to the feelings of paranoia, and anxiety, and feel in danger on a regular basis. Delusions and hallucinations are highly common. Some have delusions that there are little bugs crawling around in their skin, which causes them to scratch themselves raw, or cut open their skin looking to get the ‘crank bugs’ out. Hallucinations of people standing or walking around sometimes referred to as ‘shadow people’. Hearing sounds or voices talking about or to them. This can put the user into a panicked state. The user’s capacity to use good judgment, control impulses, or to understand consequences is impaired due to the damage done to their frontal lobe. They become obsessive in everything that they do. Things like face picking, scratching, cleaning, or finding little projects are all obsessively repeated. Users develop involuntary movements after using meth for a long time. Twitching, tremors, jerking, or convulsions are highly common.  Meth also hinders the user from using long term and short term memory. Remembering day to day things, or recalling long periods of time becomes a problem for them. The brains amygdala gets excessive stimulation compromising the control of the user’s impulsive behavior. Mixing that with the anxiety and paranoia people are more likely to lash out in aggressive violent behavior. The more physical side effects that a user can experience can be highly deadly. Due to meth suppressing their appetite, it causes rapid weight loss and malnutrition. They experience loss of bone density, loss of muscle tissue, and dangerous levels of body temperature. Thus effecting their respiratory system, and can cause raised heart rate, high blood pressure, and organ failure. It is common for users to have an irregular heartbeat, heart attack, or stroke. Due to the chemicals in meth they encounter hair loss, as well as rotting teeth and gums from grinding and chemical acidity. The skin’s blood flow is restricted causing acne, open sores, and greying skin. All this highly affects the users themselves, but it also affects the people and environment around them as well.

The families of meth addicts experience the horror of watching a once healthy and happy loved one turn into an estranged emaciated shell of a person. The children in an addicts care can suffer neglect or abuse, as well as exposure to deadly chemicals. As the addiction and use increases the consequences to family worsen. Users will resort to taking things from family members in order to pawn or sell them to get money for meth. In turn, family ties are broken and trust is lost, even to the point of families disowning the loved one to save them the heart ache. The user’s lack of judgment regularly causes them to commit crimes with very little thought of what would happen once they get caught. A good majority of crimes committed by meth users are fraud, identity theft, and check forgery. These are all known as paper crimes. According to "County Of San Diego Methamphetamine Strike Force" (2012), “More than seventy five percent of paper crimes also involve methamphetamine. Meth-related identity theft tripled from 2001 to 2005”. (para. 5 of Link between Methamphetamine and Crime).  Depending on how sever the paper crime is, it could range from a state offense to a federal offense with time in jail or prison. Methamphetamine use also affects the environment around us. On average, five pounds of hazardous waste is produced by the production of only one pound of meth.  High risks of fires and explosions can occur in clandestine labs. Damage inflicted by poisoning or injury to innocent bystanders and suspects, and damage to property are all affected by these lab accidents. Costs to taxpayers and reduced property value are some of the consequences that society encounters with meth. Methamphetamine use devastates the user and everyone else around them.

There is a plethora of knowledge available about methamphetamines and the devastating consequences of its production and use. Despite all the information many people know or have known a meth addict in their lives. Why would this drug continue to rise in popularity? The mayhem of meth addiction takes over the lives of many individuals and destroys our society as a whole. Life is hard and complicated at times, however, the solution is not found in this destructive drug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

  • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/methamphetamine#chemistry
  • U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html
  • University of Arizona MethODIE. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.methoide.fcm.arizona.edu/infocenter/index.cfm?stid=164
  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/dea/concern/meth.html#3
  • Meth-Kills. (2012). Retrieved from http://meth-kills.org/faqs/what-ingredients-are-used-to-make-meth.html
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/infofacts/methamphetamine
  • County of San Diego Methamphetamine Strike Force. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.no2meth.org/smac.htm


Submitted: May 04, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Stephie Ann Gardner. All rights reserved.

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