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Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that is produced in clandestine labs throughout the United States. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “the production and use of methamphetamine is a serious threat to the health and safety of our communities.” Unfortunately, this addictive drug is illegally produced and sold on the streets to unsuspecting users who may not even realize the grave danger that they are placing themselves in by using the drug.
What is Meth?
Meth is the result of an array of chemicals that are processed to create a substance that is responsible for causing mass destruction to the user. The chemicals that are used in methamphetamines range from pseudoephedrine which is an over the counter medication commonly used to treat sinus pressure and colds, to anhydrous ammonia which is commonly found in fertilizer and industrial refrigerants. The chemicals that are used to produce meth are all essentially toxic to the user and all are available in local stores which is why the production of this drug is such an epidemic in the US.
How are Methamphetamines Used?
Methamphetamine is abused in a variety of ways including:
- smoking the drug to produce euphoria
- ingesting the drug for a milder euphoria
- snorting the drug for a near immediate effect
- injecting the drug for the most powerful effects
Regardless of how methamphetamine is abused, the risks to the user are much the same. People who take meth, either orally or through smoking or injection are at an increased risk of an array of health complications from the toxins that are placed into the body.
Effects of Methamphetamine
When methamphetamine is abused the user will feel almost immediate effects that can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire day. The immediate effects of meth use include:
- increased energy
- increased paranoia
- feelings of power
- delusional behavior
- mood swings
- rapid heart beat
- rapid breathing
- high blood pressure
Users who take methamphetamines for a long time, repeatedly, are at an increased risk of more long-term effects that will not dissipate quickly even when the drug use stops. These effects include:
- extreme paranoia
- abrupt mood swings
- anger and instability
Methamphetamine use can also cause widespread infection and an array of health complications such as heart damage, heart attack, stroke and possible death.
Dangers of Methamphetamine Use
Many dangers arise when a user takes methamphetamine in excessive amounts. While the drug does have the potential to cause immediate death with just a single use, most of the time, users who do overdose do so as a result of their tolerance developing and rapidly growing to a point in which the user is unsure of how much they can use they just know that they must use a lot to feel the effects that they are in search of. According to Medline Plus, taking large amounts of methamphetamine can lead to dangerous side effects including:
- chest pain
- suicidal tendencies
- suicidal thoughts
- heart attack
- abrupt stopping of the heart
- extreme irritability
- pain in the stomach
- organ damage
- kidney failure
Am I Addicted to Methamphetamines?
Are you using methamphetamines? Are you wondering if you may be addicted to crystal meth? If you have any of the following symptoms, consider seeking help for a possible addiction to meth
- you feel like you cannot live without methamphetamine
- you feel like your life is no fun without meth
- you feel sick, irritable or otherwise uncomfortable when you are not using meth
- you spend excessive amounts of time using methamphetamine and avoiding activities that do not involve drug use
- you use meth despite the health consequences that have appeared as a result of your drug use
- you have promised yourself or others that you would not use meth and you have resorted back to drug use anyway
- you have been in trouble with the law and you still use meth
- you don’t know what life would be like without meth (and maybe you don’t really want to know either)
- you have tried to quit and failed
If you are showing signs of a possible meth addiction, consider seeking prompt help so that you can get your life back on track. Left untreated, methamphetamine addiction will continue to cause problems in your life and with each use of the drug you are at an increased risk of serious problems.
Getting Help for Methamphetamine Use
There are options available to assist you in making a recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Behavioral therapy is the preferred method of treatment for those who are addicted to methamphetamine but there are also options in medical care such as treatment for depression or anxiety which may have resulted from the meth abuse.
You may benefit from seeking the help of a support group such as NA or Meth Anonymous, both of which are 12-step programs that provide self-help tools and supportive guidance to those in recovery from meth addiction. You’ll find that support plays a significant role in your ability to make a recovery from this condition and get your life back on track.
Most importantly, don’t allow the addiction to ruin your life—remember that you are in control of your recovery and only you can make it happen! There is help, there is hope, and you are not the only one fighting the war against methamphetamine addiction.