Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant made from many dangerous chemicals. It starts with a drug called pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in cold medication. When pseudoephedrine is run through a process using toxic, flammable and dangerous chemicals, the result is methamphetamine, a white or lightly colored powder.
With a more sophisticated lab, the result can be crystal or “ice” methamphetamine, which is a crystallized form of the drug. The drug may look like small shards of glass. It is purer and thus can be smoked whereas powder meth will not burn well enough for this purpose.
To make powder meth, the kind most commonly made in a small domestic lab, a meth cook needs to have acetone (a flammable and irritating chemical), anhydrous ammonia (which can be fatal if inhaled), Freon (like out of an air conditioner), sulfuric acid (highly corrosive) toluene (a toxic solvent) and several other chemicals. Many of these chemicals can be obtained at a hardware store or a pool supply store. Pseudoephedrine can be obtained by buying cold medication or by acquiring large shipments from an unethical chemical manufacturer.
Some of these chemicals are very hazardous to humans, and houses where methamphetamine was previously manufactured may be contaminated forever.
Large quantities of crystal or “ice” methamphetamine come across the US-Mexico border from large manufacturing facilities in Mexico. Smaller quantities are made inside the US.
When methamphetamine is sold, it may be called speed, ice, crystal or glass.
Meth can be smoked, snorted or dissolved and injected. Like cocaine, it is a strong stimulant and increases blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. It reduces or eliminates fatigue and appetite. A person using meth may stay up for days and then crash when the body just can’t take it anymore or he runs out of meth.
It is very quick to addict a person and it causes severe physical damage.
Brain scans shows that it makes physiological changes in the brain, and “meth mouth” – the loss of most or all teeth due to severe damage resulting from meth use – is common. A person using meth commonly loses a lot of weight and begins to look gaunt and rough-skinned. A meth addict may pick at his or her face or arms, hallucinating that there are bugs underneath the skin that they need to pick out. Thus they can be covered in small sores.
In 2009, more than 100,000 people in America went to rehab to recover from addiction to methamphetamine, and more than half a million were meth users.
Meth can cause a similar type of brain damage to that done by Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or epilepsy, according to a 2000 study done at UCLA. The meth users in this study had been off meth use for two weeks to 21 months, meaning that the damage done by methamphetamine can last for a long time after the drug stops being used.
One of the most prevalent kinds of damage done by meth is personality change. A meth user ordinarily becomes more aggressive, irrational and paranoid. He will usually stop taking care of his appearance and possessions.
Once a person becomes addicted to methamphetamine, unfortunately, the drug generally becomes the most important thing to the person. With methamphetamine in particular, children and other responsibilities are often neglected. The meth user may become dishonest and commit acts that he or she would never have committed when sober.
The drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at Narconon Arrowhead can help the person who has become addicted to methamphetamine. The program starts right away to heal the body with the use of nutritional supplements. Normally, when a meth addict comes to Narconon Arrowhead for recovery, he is in terrible physical condition, and nutritional supplements calm the body and give it what it needs to start repairing itself.
Relaxing exercises and physical assists help a recovering meth addict through the withdrawal step at the beginning of this recovery program by helping him or her get oriented to a new, safe environment.
It will take time for a methamphetamine addict to recover his or her ability to live a productive, enjoyable life again. Which is why the Narconon program is not limited to a certain time period. A person recovers from the destruction of addiction at his or her own rate.
Whether the drug is methamphetamine or heroin, alcohol or a prescription drug, the Narconon drug and alcohol recovery program provides a safe, effective method of recovery.
For more information call 800-468-6933.