Methamphetamine, meth, or crystal meth all refer to an amphetamine-based drug that has become immensely popular in the United States as an addictive drug of choice for social and recreational purposes and intentions. This drug made its first appearance in the 1940s when it was used by the Japanese military forces in World War II. The Japanese gave it to the Germans, and from there it found its way over to the Americas. In truth, this substance quickly became a very powerful, dangerous, and deadly substance that wreaked havoc wherever people used it.
Since the turn of the century meth use and abuse has really taken off in this nation. It has created what might be considered to be the most powerful addiction crisis the world has ever seen before, and this has boded poorly for those who use meth on a regular basis as the drug is dangerous, deadly, and very hard to remove from one’s life once one is addicted to it.
Meth creates a powerful, damaging force upon the minds and brains of those who take it. Meth chemicals, once they are consumed into the body and the body breaks them down, they severely alter or affect the individual who is taking them. The effect? Havoc and misery for the person, long term brain damage for his or her brain.
If one has used and abused meth for long enough, long-term and potentially permanent brain damage can occur. The crisis here is that meth is so addictive that once someone starts using it they can’t seem to stop using it. It’s taken a hold of them and it doesn’t let go. More severe and more dedicated means and methods will be needed if any long term gains are to be made.
The Statistics on U.S. Meth Abuse
By no means at all, this article is not meant to harm, defame, or incriminate anyone even though the use and the abuse of meth does carry with it significant legal repercussions that should always be taken into consideration by anyone who is fantasizing about meth abuse. Actually, for all intents and purposes the intention and the forward drive behind this article really is merely to raise one’s awareness on the overall, major issue of the fact that there really is a very real meth addiction epidemic in the nation today and to try to actually shed some light on the very real problems of the nation that we struggle with today as a result of heroin addiction and abuse and all that goes into that. Many organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), and the Trust for American Health, (TAH), have all worked together to provide such statistical data and cruel yet true evidence on this very real crisis and problem for all to see and bear witness to. For example:
- An estimated 103,000 emergency department visits were attributed to methamphetamine abuse in one year alone.
- Methamphetamine was the 4th most mentioned illegal substance in emergency room visits in 2014.
- Admissions to treatment centers for meth addiction and abuse decreased from just over 8% in 2005 to only 5.6% in 2011.
- About 1.2 million people abused meth last year.
- There were over 130,000 new meth users in 2014 and even more than that last year.
- Approximately 5% of adolescents in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade had used meth at least once, which is concerning because about seventy percent of that one percent will become addicted to it.
- The United States government reported in the year of 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 have used methamphetamine, and that about 529,000 of those are regular users of the drug.
- In the year of 2007, 4.5% of American high-school seniors and 4.1% of tenth grade students reported using methamphetamine at least once in their life to begin with.
- In the United States of America, the percentage of drug treatment admissions due to methamphetamine and amphetamine abuse tripled from 3% in 1996 to 9% in 2006. Some states have much higher percentages, such as the island state of Hawaii, where 48.2% of the people seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse in 2007 were methamphetamine users and abusers.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), over 12.3 million Americans age 12 and older have tried meth at least once, and millions of them have gotten addicted to it.
- Statistically speaking, women are more inclined to pick up meth than they are to pick up cocaine, which is also quite worrisome because meth is more addictive and more physically dangerous.
- Meth’s purity decreases the closer production is to the Mexican border, most likely a result of drug trafficking from Mexican locations. Now, there are lots of meth production facilities on U.S. soil.
- The top two reasons reported for using meth are (1) accessibility and (2) the fact that it is relatively inexpensive. It is certainly less expensive than heroin, cocaine, or crack is.
- Adolescents between 12 and 17 years old admitted to meth addiction, but only a small percentage of them.
- Treatment for meth addiction increased by 100 percent between the years of 1994 and 2004, because the drug itself more than tripled in popularity.
- Over 85 percent of meth production occurs in “super labs” found in California and in Mexico. A lot of production now takes place in the Midwest too.
- Members of drug cartels often strike up business relationships with Native American reservations to use the land as a distribution point between Mexico and North Dakota, making the issue of meth abuse in the nation even worse and even more prevalent.
- In the year of 2004, over 3,000 children were removed from meth labs throughout the U.S. by child welfare officials. Child slaves are often used to work in meth labs.
- One pound of meth creates five to six pounds of toxic waste, making it the drug that is easily the worst of them all for our environment.
- Approximately $1,000 worth of ingredients, such as aluminum foil and paint thinner, is enough to create $20,000 worth of meth. This is why so many have gone into the business because the cost of materials is so low.
- In a typical mom-and-pop meth lab, all of the equipment and paraphernalia used to make meth could fit in a small beverage cooler. Some labs are contained within bath tubs, sheds, barns, vehicles or abandoned trailers. It doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t take a lot of knowledge or know-how to make the stuff, again making it more desirable for the average addict or dealer to do so.
Beating Meth Addiction with Rehab
Meth addiction is devastating and harmful to say the least. However it does not have to be a permanent affliction for anyone who is addicted to it. The key to beating a meth addiction and really the only way to beat meth addiction is with the help of an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment center, detox facility, rehab program, and recovery organization and nothing less than that. With effective inpatient treatment, anyone who is addicted to anything, even something as heavily addictive to meth, can actually go free from their addiction once and for all and lead free and clear sober lives.
It doesn’t take a genius to know what someone who is addicted to meth needs to go to rehab. Here is just a short list of the addictive problems that people have because of meth:
- “Meth mouth.”
- Skin sores.
- Heart failure.
- Increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
- Memory loss.
- Cognitive and motor impairments.
This is why rehab is needed and wanted. Meth addiction and abuse in general is bad news for anyone involved with it, and that is why rehab is needed and wanted and totally available for such individuals. Meth addiction is addressed with rehab first and then things just go from there.
Meth rehab involves both detox and rehab. Detox is used to medically and under close supervision bring the person down off of meth and get them fully, physically, chemically clean from the habit. Meth rehab also helps people to take a step back and reassess their current situation and just win at it the best that they can. In this way, anyone who is addicted to meth can actually experience a high level of freedom and wonder in the long run too. With rehab, any meth addict can have a new chance at life and can approach things from a totally clean and sober perspective.