Methamphetamine, also known as Crystal Methamphetamine, is a highly addictive and dangerous drug when abused. It is classified as a Schedule II substance by the federal government, which is due to its high addiction and abuse potential although it is used in small doses for medical purposes. Amphetamine is found and used in many inhalers and decongestants and forms of it are also used for the treatment of attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy and obesity.
A Methamphetamine recipe often uses nasal decongestants in illegal laboratories to make the substance. These are all too easily found over the Internet and replicated and are also taught within local communities to others. These illegal labs for the production of meth are found just about anywhere including in vacant houses, garages and basements. The numbers of illegal labs found within the United States continue to climb. Meth lab seizures have gone up an incredible 577% nationally since 1995.
Known in short as meth, crystal meth, met, crystal, speed, crank, chalk and cristy, this drug is derived from amphetamine but is much longer lasting and has a higher potency. Methamphetamine is also much more damaging to the body and central nervous system. Other names you may hear that refer to Methamphetamines are clear glass, tina, quartz, 64glass and ice. These names are usually used to refer to the crystal form of Met that looks much like ice crystals. Methamphetamine can also be found in powder form or in capsules or pills.
Illegal methamphetamine users consume the drug in many forms and in many ways. This includes snorting, smoking and ingesting the drug. It is also consumed through needle injection. Smoking and injection tend to product an effect almost immediately, while snorting or ingested pill forms take about fifteen minutes for affects to be felt. The euphoria felt by the user often lasts anywhere from four to twenty-four hours long. Users attribute the enjoyment of the drug to the heightened physical and mental affects it produces.
Often users will begin with pill forms or smoking and snorting that will eventually lead to injection in long-term users. This is due to the need for immediate affect and because of the development of higher tolerance. Use of needles in drug use can spread diseases such as HIV and various forms of hepatitis or other diseases. This happens when needles are shared with infected individuals. Often when a person is addicted to methamphetamines, they are less likely to take in account the safety of sharing needles since they are generally focused on achieving the needed high. They also tend to engage in higher amounts of risky behaviors.
Those that use Methamphetamines tend to become physically addicted very quickly and will build a higher and higher tolerance at a quick pace that leads to needing much more Meth to produce the original high the user felt in the beginning stages of use. Immediate reactions include euphoria, high activity level, decreased appetite, confusion, paranoia, nervousness, tremors, irritability, aggression and impaired speech. Other short-term symptoms can include sores, acne, teeth grinding, skin irritation and itching.
Long-term use of Methamphetamines causes serious damage throughout the body, especially to the central nervous system. Much of the damage may be irreversible even upon stopping its use. These long-term physical affects include brain damage, kidney and lung disorders, blood clots, liver damage, hallucinations, violent and murderous behavior, psychosis and symptoms closely resembling schizophrenia. Death can occur from use due to overdose or from heart failure, strokes and brain damage as well as from other damage to the body and brain.
Use of Met became widespread throughout the continental United States by 1990, and its illegal use is going up throughout the nation. Abuse of Methamphetamines seems to be happening in rural areas as much as in urban areas, and the ratios of female to male users are fairly equal. Currently, the Midwest Region is experiencing extremely high numbers of Crystal Methamphetamine use. This area of the country accounts for 90% of known use and abuse statistics. This is thought to be due to its easy transportation and accessibility in this area, although its use is increasing and spreading to many other areas of the nation.
Rising use is also due to the ease in which a Methamphetamine recipe can be found and how easily it is taught to others locally. Methamphetamine arrests have risen nationally by 300% since the year 1993. The 1998 Monitoring the Future study also found that 52.7% of 12th graders were at high risk for trying or using Crystal Methamphetamine at least once, and a 2000 survey found that 8% of high school seniors across the nation admitted to already trying it. These statistics show that a high number of our young people are at risk for the dangers associated with Meth use and its high addiction potential.
It is scary to think that anyone can obtain a Methamphetamine recipe to make Crystal Meth. Laboratories in which the substance is made are highly dangerous and volatile. Those within the lab run the risk of inhaling dangerous fumes and receiving chemical burns. Dangerous fumes often leak outside and into the environment in different ways. The mixing and making of Methamphetamine can also cause explosions, which puts the surrounding community as risk. Anyone within the surrounding area of a Meth lab is at serious risk for the potential problems associated with it.
If you or anyone you know is currently abusing or addicted to Methamphetamines, it is strongly encouraged that you seek help immediately. Most of those addicted to Crystal Methamphetamine cannot stop using on their own and often need outside medical attention and intense rehabilitation. The sooner the abuser obtains help for their addiction, the higher the chance of recovery and the less likely it will be that the addiction will progress to a level that will produce the serious long-term health problems and the resulting death that is often attributed to long-term abuse and addiction to Methamphetamines.