Methamphetamine was originally synthesized in Japan in 1893 but wasn’t widely used until governments on both sides began distributing it to their soldiers during World War II. Today, methamphetamine is responsible for the fifth highest overdose rate in the United States, contributing to 10,333 deaths in 2017 alone and meth addiction has become a really serious issue.
Meth is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system, most frequently found in the form of a bitter-tasting powder or a pill. Crystal meth is the same chemical, but it takes the form of glass or blueish-white rocks. Methamphetamine is a variant of amphetamine, which is a stimulant commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
This guide will take an extensive look at the statistics of methamphetamine use, covering its complete effects and dangers, as well as the science behind methamphetamine addiction.
The Basics of Methamphetamine
Primary Dangers of Methamphetamine Use
Addictiveness: Methamphetamine is classified as a highly addictive stimulant.
Increased risk of disease: Because of needle and syringe sharing, as well as an increase in risky behavior, meth abusers are more likely to contract HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Mental issues: Meth abuse can lead to a wide array of mental issues, which may become chronic and intractable, ranging from sleep problems to depression to crippling paranoia and hallucinations.
Risk of overdose: The CDC found that methamphetamine is fifth most prevalent drug in fatal overdoses in the United States in 2016.
Long-term bodily effects: Prolonged abuse can wreak havoc on the body, bringing on heart problems, severe dental issues, excessive weight loss, and chronic mental issues.
Legal risk: The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies methamphetamine as a Schedule II stimulant under the Controlled Substances Act, which means that any usage of meth is subject to felony charges at the state and federal level.
Key Facts about Methamphetamine
It has several street names. The most common alternative names for powder or pill form methamphetamine are meth, chalk, speed, and Tina. Crystal meth can also be known as ice, crank, fire, go fast, and glass.
Methamphetamine is manufactured. Meth is a chemical compound that is manufactured in “superlabs” mainly in Mexico and Southeast Asia but can be made in small, clandestine labs anywhere. Its production includes toxic chemicals like acetone and anhydrous ammonia (a fertilizer).
It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. Standard methamphetamine typically comes in the form of powder or a pill and can be snorted, swallowed, or injected in this form. Crystal meth, which takes the form of large “crystals” is most commonly smoked with a glass pipe. Smoking and injecting methamphetamine deliver the quickest and most intense high.
The rush from methamphetamine and crystal meth is strong but short-lived. Meth, specifically when smoked or injected, delivers a strong and euphoric “rush” sensation that both comes and goes quickly, lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes and is followed by a 6-12 hour high.
To avoid the crash, users often take repeated doses in a “binge and crash” pattern that can extend over several days with no sleep.