Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. In fact, it is one of the few drugs that can cause dependency after the first use. It is because of this that meth addicts go to such desperate measures to get their next fix. Statistics tie meth to as much as seventy percent of property crimes, and officials urge homeowners to be alert to this possibility in their own neighborhood.
The Facts About Meth
Methamphetamine is a bitter, white, odorless powder that is molecularly similar to amphetamine. It is available for medical purposes through a doctor’s prescription, but only at very low doses. When it is abused, it is either snorted, ingested, smoked, or mixed with water and injected.
Meth is a stimulant, also known as an upper. It increases energy and decreases appetite, which is why many girls use it to lose weight.
A 2009 study shows that 1.2 million people aged twelve and older had abused meth at least once. A growing number of high-schoolers are getting hooked.
Meth abuse can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, dangerously high temperatures, severe weight loss, serious dental decay and tooth loss, anxiety, confusion, sleep problems, mood disturbances and violent behavior.
Chronic meth users may experience psychosis, including paranoia and delusions. A common hallucination that accompanies meth is the sensation that there are insects crawling under the skin–a manifestation that can lead users to pick at their skin or cut themselves dangerously.
It is estimated that the average meth addict will only live five to seven years after addiction starts.
Superlabs Verses Homemade Meth
Most of the meth on American streets is made in foreign “superlabs”. Mexico is one of the biggest manufacturers, supplying nearly eighty percent of the meth in the United States. They smuggle it over the border hidden in beer cans or tucked in produce.
Rural domestic labs, however, continue to thrive because their meth is cheap and easy to make. It can be prepared in less than an hour using household products in a single pot. The key ingredient is pseudoephedrine, a component of cold and asthma medication. Officials track pseudoephedrine sales in order to find clandestine labs. Meth manufacturers circumvent this by finding other, less obvious people to purchase pseudoephedrine for them–even the elderly.
Don’t Ignore Signs In Your Neighborhood
Many property crimes go unnoticed until it is too late. Meth users are not only the stereotypical street junkies–even upper class kids and soccer moms are hooked. If you spot anything out of the ordinary in your neighborhood, don’t hesitate to inquire or report as necessary.
Addicts especially like to target people on vacation or neighborhoods with a lot of vacant houses. They may disguise themselves as repair men and rob homes in broad daylight, even taking copper piping in order to pawn it for fast cash.
Keep your home and family safe and be alert to the above. Talk to your kids about drugs like meth so that they do not start on a path of abuse. If you notice that someone you know if exhibiting the signs of meth use get them help.
For more information on this topic contact Narconon Hawaii or one of our other residential, outpatient, or drug education and prevention facilities.