Methamphetamine is a dangerous and potentially deadly drug, which has been thrust out of the limelight in recent years due to the opioid epidemic. Before the dawn of the highly publicized fight against opioids, meth became a highly talked about drug because of the debut of Breaking Bad in 2008. This television show introduced the American public to a pair of compelling and relatable meth cooks. One of them a troubled juvenile and the other one, the kid’s chemistry teacher. There has been more and more of a creep towards the broad cultural acceptance of drugs like meth when they are portrayed in television shows such as these.
Watching these plucky antiheroes labor to create and sell meth in extreme and often comical circumstances has given a rosy almost romantic air to the concept of this aspect of the drug trade. But there’s not a single glamorous aspect of the immense damage that meth can do to someone who is struggling with an addictive relationship to it. Meth is a powerfully addictive drug that targets the central nervous system of its user.
It falls under the category of stimulants in the amphetamine family, and is substantially more potent in strength than the prescription drugs for ADD/ADHD, though those drugs do indeed have addictive qualities to them and should be highly monitored when subscribed. When meth is used it creates a strong high, but a very short one – the drug usually peaks in less than thirty minutes. It is followed by a longer period of a sense of wellbeing and an increased energy that can stretch on for another 10-12 hours. It is not uncommon for users to take another dose before the secondary high wears off, creating a chain of drug use commonly known as binging. People who are binging meth can and often do stay awake for days at a time and go without food for long periods as the drug’s stimulant properties override the body’s natural cycles and communication.
Meth was once created in illegal labs across the United States, and while that remains true to some extent, more often these days, these slap dash labs are being replaced by sophisticated mass production facilities that are producing huge amounts of the drug at a much higher potency, making meth both more prevalent and more potent. It is a dangerous process involving many volatile chemicals, including paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, and red sulfur. The end result is usually either a white powder which can be made into pills, or crystalline rocks.
There is a vast disparity in how it’s made and with what ingredients, making the possibility of overdose much higher. The majority of meth in American is created in the southwest, but meth labs have become increasingly common in the midwest and the South as well. As demands for Meth have increased so has its trafficking throughout the United States. In different parts of the country it has different street names, but the most common are:
- Crystal Meth
How is the drug taken?
- Inhaling or smoking the drug via a pipe
- Snorting a powdered form
- Swallowing a pill
- Mixed with water or alcohol and injected into the veins
Side Effects of Meth Use
- Persistent wakefulness
- Increased physical activity
- Heightened respiratory activity
- Heightened cardiac activity
- Irregular cardiac activity
- Increase in blood pressure
- Abnormal body temperature
- Loss of some cognitive functions
- Compromised memory
- Increased likelihood of contracting HIV
- Increased likelihood of contracting Hepatitis B or C
- Increased likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease
- Dramatic weight loss
- Major dental issues
- Intense body itching that leads to breaking of skin and sores, making meth addicts easy to spot
- High anxiety
- Steady confusion
- Incessant sleep complications
- Violent outbursts
- Extreme and irrational paranoia and distrust of those around the user, in their community & outside the community
- Hallucinations, or visions and experiences of things that are not based in reality
The negative side effects are astounding, but the drug remains popular. A prolonged habit of meth use can severely diminish the brain’s ability to naturally regulate dopamine and serotonin, impact the user’s coordination and fine muscle control, and even diminish the user’s verbals skills. Because of the dire health effects associated with long term use, it is vital that the steps are taken as quickly as possible to interrupt the spiral of addiction.
Treatment For Meth Addiction in a South Dakota Drug Detox Center
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and chemical dependency on meth in South Dakota decides they are ready to seek detox and rehabilitation treatment they would be well to seek out addiction recovery centers in South Dakota. Psychiatric services are offered at recovery facilities which add to the possibility of the transition from treatment center to successful active recovery. Aspire offers a beautiful treatment facility in South Dakota and employs a licensed staff of highly qualified clinicians to monitor your mental and physical wellbeing. Call us today to learn more about how Aspire can help you.