Methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug which is a problem not only for the user, but for society as a whole. Methamphetamine addiction leads to an increase number of crimes and criminal activity ranging from theft, DWI, endangering of children and more. Production of meth has increased dramatically in American since the mid-1990s. According to Wikipedia Indiana state police found 1,260 labs in 2003 to only 6 in 1995. Methamphetamine production ranges from large scale production in super labs on foreign soil to domestic small time labs in trailer parks. In the United States of America, methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it is legally only available by a doctor's prescription. Prescribed uses for methamphetamine include attention deficit disorder, obesity and even in some cases narcolepsy.
Crystal, crank, ice, speed, whatever you call it methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that has damaging side effects when abused. The frequent use of methamphetamine can lead to long term damage to the central nervous system. Brain images of meth addicts show that users dopamine transporters and receptors have been permanently damaged. After the dopamine system has been damaged users can experience anhedonia, which is the inability to experience pleasure. After the addiction has been addressed and the person is sober, it can be months before the brain begins to effectively produce and regulate dopamine.
The pleasurable side effects from meth are what lead users to develop their meth addiction. Patients describe an intense pleasurable rush that hits them once the drug has been ingested. Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted or injected which can compound the health side effects from the drug use. Smoking provides the quickest fix for the user, whereas snorting provides effects that can last for a longer time. This intense rush can lead to addicts becoming hooked even after their first use of the drug. Meth mouth is an additional adverse health side effect associated with meth addiction. Meth mouth is a condition where methamphetamine users have a profound and quick loss of teeth. The American Dental Association believes the tooth loss is the result of a variety of factors induced from meth use including, poor oral hygiene, poor diet, poor sleep habits and excessive teeth grinding.
Besides the health issues facing the meth users themselves, methamphetamine creates a number of public health issues. The production of meth and the exposure to dangerous chemicals are a common risk created by meth. The meth labs are often run by people high on drugs themselves resulting in dangerous fires and explosions. The rush of methamphetamine can lead to risky sexual behavior which continues the spread of STDs like HIV/AIDS. Meth addiction is so strong that pregnant women often times pass the addiction on to their unborn child.
Meth addiction is a problem that often times requires clinical intervention to successfully reach a full long term stable recovery. A drug rehab center that specializes in handling methamphetamine cases would be an ideal solution. Nearly 90% of meth users will experience some sort of symptom when withdrawing from methamphetamine, which often times leads to a relapse, which is why many doctors would recommend a detox program in a clinical setting.