This is a drug that not only harms the user’s physical and mental well being, but also their family.
According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, about 2% of youth have tried meth by the 12th grade.
In 2008, approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 said they had used methamphetamine—and 529,000 of those are regular users.
Over the course of five years, roughly 1,800 Tennessee children were taken into state custody because their parents were cooking meth.
Meth is a stimulant to the central nervous system. When the drug enters the brain, it causes a large release of the neurotransmitter dopamine causing intense feelings of pleasure for the user.
Meth mouth refers to the poor dental health of many meth users. Meth mouth is caused by a variety of meth’s side effects such as lack of saliva, tooth grinding or clenching, decreased blood flow, bad hygiene, and poor diet.
Crank bugs or meth bugs refer to the hallucinations that some meth users get in which the user feels like there are bugs crawling on or under the skin. Also known as formication, crank bugs cause meth users to pick at or cut their skin, created infection-prone sores.
Weight loss is a side effect of meth use for a variety of reasons. Meth is an appetite suppressant, meaning that, when people use meth, they do not feel hungry. This means that many meth users are not getting adequate nutrition. This can also result in muscle degradation, hair loss, and dull, acne-ridden skin.
This refers to meth users trying to replicate their original or first high. A person’s first high produces massive dopamine release which can essentially never be replicated. Meth users will increase their dosage in order to try and achieve their first high. Now addicted, meth users will continue to use meth, even though it gives them little or no pleasure.
Many of the chemicals used to make meth are flammable and incredibly unstable. This includes materials such as acetone, lithium, hydrogen chloride, sodium hydroxide, petroleum ether, ammonia and red phosphorus. This, combined with meth users’ diminished mental capacity, creates a “perfect storm” for fires and explosions.
Meth labs can exist anywhere, but some things to look for are:
If you suspect a meth lab in your neighborhood, you should report your suspicions to law enforcement immediately. NEVER try to investigate a meth lab on your own.
If you, or someone you know, has a problem, talk to a trusted adult. Seek out local substance abuse treatment centers in your area for further help. A physician or a counselor should be able to assist you in finding treatment centers.