The rise of methamphetamine abuse started to emerge in the wake of the crack epidemic as the 1980’s came to a close. “Meth” has risen to epidemic levels as people from all walks of life fall victim to addiction. Due to the effects meth has on the body, the drug is extremely dangerous. Anyone using meth is always at a risk for an overdose and death.
Each year, about 15,000 people die due to the use of methamphetamine. Overdoses from meth use reflect nearly 10% of the serious trips to the emergency room are connected to the use of meth. The continued growth of the drug is likely to lead to these statistics increasing.
What is Methamphetamine and Why is it so Dangerous?
The broadest category in which meth falls under would be a stimulant. Ingesting the drug causes the brain to go into hyper-drive as it becomes more alert. Blood pressure skyrockets and the heart starts to race. The mind travels incredibly fast and a person could become extremely anxious and disoriented. In many ways, the use of methamphetamine is similar to the use of cocaine although studies suggest meth is even more powerful and addictive.
Methamphetamine is sometimes confused with the capsule stimulant amphetamine (“speed”). Meth is similar, but different from the pills. The chemical composition is somewhat the same, but meth is taken in the form of a crystal powder. The powder can be snorted or heated with liquids or injected. The powder can also be altered so the substance is suitable to be smoked in a pipe.
The smokable form of the drug is extremely addictive and extremely dangerous. Currently, smoking “ice” has reached pandemic levels and it does not seem the scourge will be abated any time soon.
Overdosing on meth does not really take very much in terms of pure amounts. 50mgs is all that is required for the average person to suffer from an overdose when smoking or snorting. The number really easy for a desperate addict to use in short period of time.
The fatalities associated with a methamphetamine overdose include a heart attack, a stroke, or a brain hemorrhage. Once these conditions manifest, even with immediate attention, a person might not be saved. Even surviving the situation could prove very troubling as the after effects could inflict serious disabilities. Brain damage is a possibility if the person is unconscious and not breathing for some time.
Acute overdoses are not the only way a person could suffer from the aforementioned adverse effects. Long term, chronic use surely increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke or brain hemorrhage.
Ignoring the Warning Signs
Treatment for problems related to meth addiction are minimal. Simply put, someone who suffers from a serious and severe addiction to meth is more concerned with feeding an addiction rather than seeking medical help for various ailments.
A person could be suffering from consistent chest pains, a definitive warning sign of a heart attack. However, the addict ignores the problem and continues to use. Again, concerns over health problems are not exactly going to mean much to the person suffering from meth addiction.
The pure nature of addiction is to continue to use a drug even though obvious signs of the harm the drug is doing remain clearly present.
There is another factor that could contribute to a meth related fatality. People can and do get into car accidents or other serious mishaps while under the influence of meth. These figures are not factored in with the 15,000 deaths due to an overdose.
Know the Risks Before Taking the Chance
Reducing the chances of dying from using methamphetamine may only be possible if the addict undergoes a proper rehabilitation program. In the program, the proper medical care is undertaken to start addressing the physical effects of the drug. Successfully quitting the drug would surely eliminate the potential for an overdose in the future.
Anyone involved in experimenting with drugs should educate themselves about the above dangers and become very afraid of using meth even once.