Methamphetamine

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Something about Meth
She stares at herself in the mirror, examining every self inflicted scar from picking scabs. Her skin tone is grey and dull. Her hair has gotten oily and unkempt. She stopped caring about her looks and was not aware of it. There are age spots on her face that seem to have appeared over night. She touches her face and strokes the bags under her eyes with her finger tips. She looks now at what used to be a beautiful smile and cannot believe that her teeth have decayed, they are almost gone. It saddens her and she looks away. She feels ashamed of what she has become. She looks back at the mirror only to be looking into her eyes. With a hoarse voice she utters the words, “How did this happen?”

Even though Methamphetamine (Meth) is not as popular as other drugs, it is a fast growing form of addiction because it is a drug that affects all age groups and social classes; it is extremely harmful to the human body. Some may have heard of Meth in a different way. This is a drug that has many names. Meth is an Illegal drug and the names are always changing so that the authorities do not catch on. Common names are: speed, chalk, tweek or it is sometimes referred to as crank, ice, crystal, glass, shards or sparkle. These names are common for the crystallized form Meth takes when smoked (What is Methamphetamine, NARCONON, 2005). Meth has become one of the easiest drugs to develop because of the common over the-counter ingredients used. Ingredients commonly found are Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine. (Meth: Chemistry, by Erowid, January 2005) Meth labs have been found in basements, hotel rooms, abandon trailer homes, or even in the trunk of someone’s car. The crystallized form of Meth (shards) can be used in many ways. Shards can be swallowed or chewed. One can crush the shards to snort, one can dissolve the shards in water to inject, or one can freebase the shards to smoke.

Meth gives some people “the best feeling they have ever had”. Early in the century Meth was synthesized from its parent drug, Amphetamine. Both Amphetamine and Meth give the human body a sense of “well being”, an increase in activity and loss of appetite, only Meth has been known to last 6 - 8 hours. Meth has a strong effect on the central nervous system because after the initial rush of the drug, some individuals hit a state of high agitation and can lead to violent behavior. Meth has been labeled a “Scheduled II” stimulant. This means that Meth is highly addictive and is only available through prescription and cannot be refilled (What is Methamphetamine, NARCONON, 2005).

There are several short-term effects that meth has on the body. Like an increase of attention, activity, body temperature. Meth also increases the heart rate and may also cause jaw clenching or tremors. One may say that Meth has given them a sense of euphoria, an increase in sexual preoccupation and a decrease in fatigue and appetite. To some these symptoms may not sound too bad. But because meth is highly addictive many who begin using do not stop before the long-term effects take hold of their bodies. The long-term effects include things like addiction, paranoia, and may cause hallucinations (seeing “shadow people”). Meth may also cause compulsion and repetitiveness. Meth may cause a change in brain structure and function. Memory loss is a common side effect from using Meth. Meth can change a person drastically with mood disturbances, aggression or violent behavior. Not to mention the severe weight loss and dental problems one may develop from long-term usage. There is NO cure for Methamphetamine overdoses. That is because Meth overdoses are nonreversible and completely unpredictable. There are no warning signs. A Meth overdose includes heart attacks and strokes, brain damage, neurotoxicity, muscle breakdown, kidney failure, and all can lead to death (Methamphetamine Effects, CrystalRecovery.com, 2007).

After learning of the dangers of Meth, I wondered where it...
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