Methamphetamine was created as an artificial chemical substance.
Methamphetamine is a powder, sometimes made into capsules or pills.
Amphetamines are taken orally or injected. However, the addition
of "ice," the slang name for crystallized methamphetamines has promoted
smoking as another mode of administration. Just as "crack" is smokable
cocaine, "ice" is smokable methamphetamine. Intravenous use of methamphetamines
is abused by a subculture known as "speed freaks."
Dangers and Effects
Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia
and is characterized by paranoia, picking at the skin, preoccupation
with one's own thoughts, and auditory and visual hallucinations.
Violent and erratic behavior is frequently seen among chronic abusers
of amphetamines, especially methamphetamine.Methamphetamine, in
all its forms, is highly addictive and toxic.
DEA Fast Facts
Meth is made in America as well as internationally
Unlike heroin, cocaine, or Ecstasy, it is produced here within our
borders. We can’t blame other countries for this problem.
Meth is not just a big city problem
Meth has become the most dangerous drug problem of small-town America.
Traffickers make and distribute the drug in some of our country’s
most rural areas. Twelve to fourteen year olds that live in smaller
towns are 104% more likely to use meth than those who live in larger
"Tabletop" labs on the increase
One of the reasons meth is such a threat in rural America is because
it is cheap and easy to make. Drugs that can be bought over the
counter at local stores are mixed with other common ingredients
to make meth. Small labs to cook the drug can be set up on tables
in kitchens, countertops, garages or just about anywhere. Although
superlabs, operated by sophisticated traffickers still supply the
majority of meth, these smaller tabletop labs have increased exponentially
in the last decade, setting an alarming trend.
Meth hurts not just individuals, but families, neighborhoods
and entire communities
Meth is a powerfully addictive and violent drug. Its use can result
in fatal kidney and lung disorders, brain damage, liver damage,
chronic depression, paranoia and other physical and mental disorders.
Recent studies have demonstrated that meth causes more damage to
the brain than alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.
Environmental harm: The chemicals used to make meth are toxic, and
the lab operators routinely dump waste into streams, rivers, fields,
and sewage systems. The chemical vapors produced during cooking
permeate the walls and carpets of houses and buildings, making them
uninhabitable. Cleaning up these sites requires specialized training
and costs an average of $2,000-$4,000 per site in funds that come
out of the already-strained budgets of state and local police.
Hundreds of children are neglected every year after living with
parents who are meth “cooks.” More than 20% of the meth
labs seized last year had children present.
This Is Your
Brain on Meth: A 'Forest Fire' of Damage
By SANDRA BLAKESLEE
who do not want to wait for old age to shrink their brains
and bring on memory loss now have a quicker alternative
- abuse methamphetamine for a decade or so and watch the
brain cells vanish into the night.
first high-resolution M.R.I. study of methamphetamine addicts
shows "a forest fire of brain damage," said Dr. Paul Thompson,
an expert on brain mapping at the University of California,
Los Angeles. "We expected some brain changes but didn't
expect so much tissue to be destroyed."
image, published in the June 30 issue of The Journal of
Neuroscience, shows the brain's surface and deeper limbic
system. Red areas show the greatest tissue loss.
limbic region, involved in drug craving, reward, mood and
emotion, lost 11 percent of its tissue. "The cells are dead
and gone," Dr. Thompson said. Addicts were depressed, anxious
and unable to concentrate.
brain's center for making new memories, the hippocampus,
lost 8 percent of its tissue, comparable to the brain deficits
in early Alzheimer's. The methamphetamine addicts fared
significantly worse on memory tests than healthy people
the same age.
study examined 22 people in their 30's who had used methamphetamine
for 10 years, mostly by smoking it, and 21 controls matched
for age. On average, the addicts used an average of four
grams a week and said they had been high on 19 of the 30
days before the study began.
is an addictive stimulant made in clandestine laboratories
nationwide. When taken by mouth, snorted, injected or smoked,
it produces intense pleasure by releasing the brain's reward
chemical, dopamine. With chronic use, the brains that overstimulate
dopamine and another brain chemical, serotonin, are permanently
study held one other surprise, Dr. Thompson said: white
matter, composed of nerve fibers that connect different
areas, was severely inflamed, making the addicts' brains
10 percent larger than normal. "This was shocking," he said.
But there was one piece of good news: the white matter was
not dead. With abstinence, it might recover.
For additional drug information and street names please visit http://www.streetdrugs.org