According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2009 1.2 million Americans ages 12 and above had tried methamphetamine at least once.
This figure, as staggering as it is, is widely considered to be a low estimate of the actual number of people using this very dangerous drug.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive synthetic substance that is closely related to amphetamine. It’s effects are long lasting and very damaging and toxic to dopamine receptors in the central nervous system. The damage methamphetamine can do to the body can be irreversible. This substance is sometimes a white odorless powder, but can also come in crystalline form and look lightly tinted of other colors. Methamphetamine can be eaten, snorted, smoked or injected. It is sometimes referred to as meth, crystal, tweak, speed, crank, ice or glass.
Methamphetamine has become very popular and has overtaken cocaine in terms of popularity in many areas of the United States. Methamphetamine is much easier and cheaper to get because unlike cocaine, it does not need to be smuggled into the country. Methamphetamine can be made almost anywhere, in people’s homes, cars, even outdoors and is very cheap to produce. The Federal Government recently reported, “While cocaine use continues to slow, meth has taken its place as the most widely abused drug in the United States.” At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice has named meth the “drug of choice” among the young people of our country.
Physical effects of methamphetamine:
- Rapid heart rate
- Irregular heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis for intravenous uses who share needles
Long term meth use can lead to:
- Mood disturbances
- Violent behavior
- Severe dental problems