One of the most common mistakes regarding the drug problem in society these days is the consideration that drug abuse only happens to other people. The thought seems to be that junkies are homeless people that live in alleyways, alcoholics are probably already in jail for violence and meth addicts are only people that live out in the middle of nowhere.
The problem is that these views of drug use are very narrow and help further disguise the actual drug users. The average alcoholic is someone that drinks just a bit more than they should, the average heroin addict has a home and the average meth user, well, the average meth user is still somewhat unknown. But the unknowns regarding meth have made it one of the nation’s most dangerous drugs and a nationwide epidemic.
Crystal meth is a drug that can be taken in many ways. It can be a pill, a powder that’s snorted, a rock that is melted and then injected, but whatever the method, meth is a drug that is highly addictive and dangerous from the very first use. It creates a very strong rush, it gives a sense of false happiness, energy and confidence. The high can last for 6-8 hours on average.
Meth is a stimulant, so it over-charges the body’s metabolism and energy production. This can cause heart problems, circulatory problems and brain damage from the get-go, but also hooks users into long-term health problems. Meth users can develop a condition called meth-mouth where the users teeth start to rot from the inside out and turn black while they rot.
But regardless of the horrific damage that meth can wreak on a body, many people still take the drug. Anyone displaying the warning signs of meth use could be an addict and taking the fast track towards death. It doesn’t matter whether the drug is being taken by street junkies or white collar business men, the meth acts fast and is a true threat for susceptible people in any field or social strata.
How big is the issue
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has estimated that nearly 25 million users are hooked on crystal meth. The United States government has found that around 13 million Americans have tried meth with half a million being regular users. Meth accounts for around 10% of all admissions for drug treatment, but some states fare much worse with the drug. Hawaii for example has reported meth being the main drug for 48.2% of all patients seeking help for drug abuse. Worldwide, 500 metric tons of the drug are produced every year, with the Czech Republic being a country with a large amount of producers and users. For some Asian and Middle Eastern countries, meth is just the latest drug in a long line of addictive drugs like opium. To illustrate the issue, consider Iran where 50% of all mental patients admitted have taken methamphetamine and experienced some sort of psychotic episode.
How to fight against meth
The best way to fight back against meth addiction is to get the data about meth and its effects out into the public. Get yourself informed, find out about efforts being made to fight addiction and lend your time to their cause. Let people know about the harms and addictive nature of crystal meth, reach out to anyone that might be in danger of getting hooked on meth and promote local events that raise awareness. Meth is responsible for many addictions, broken lives and countless deaths, any measures you take to bring about awareness could save a life.
DrugAbuse.gov – Methamphetamine –http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/methamphetamine