While methamphetamine may seem like one of the new generation of designer drugs that has recently jumped to public attention, it’s actually been around for nearly 80 years.
Meth was first developed in the 1930s by pharmaceutical companies as a type of inhaler product for people with asthma and other breathing issues. But it didn’t take long for people to discover its potential recreational benefits and – although it has largely flown below the radar for most of the time –meth has recently exploded in popularity.
Part of the reason why so many people are now familiar with meth is due to the AMC television program “Breaking Bad”, which depicted former high school teacher Walter White who – out of financial desperation – applies his knowledge to the production of meth in order to pay for treatments for his terminal cancer. While the program didn’t glamorize the use of meth, it certainly brought the drug to the attention to a lot of people who otherwise would have never had any contact with the drug.
Instant, Biology-Based Addiction
Like any addictive substance, most people develop a need for meth on a number of different levels: Physical, psychological, and social. But unlike drugs like cocaine and heroin, the biological addiction to meth often develops the very first time somebody uses it.
Ingesting methamphetamine into the bloodstream causes the brain to release a powerful neurotransmitter called dopamine. This chemical agent products an euphoric response in the brain that is both pleasurable and relaxing. This first meth high is often the most powerful for the drug user, who will then try to replicate it with subsequent dosages.
The problem is that in order to cause the brain to release the same levels of dopamine, larger and larger quantities of methamphetamine must be taken. This repeated use – often referred to by users as “chasing the high” – is what frequently leads to meth addiction.
Meth is commonly used as a party drug. It is consumed by groups of people in social situations. That’s because it has stimulatory qualities that can cause users to stay awake for hours – or in some cases, days – while using the drugs.
The effects of meth also lend themselves to social situations, such as the club scene. The euphoria, increased sex drive, and the increased sexual pleasure that are experienced with meth use have made it popular among certain populations, including gay men.
Like any addiction, people who are addicted to meth will take just about any action in order to feed their craving. This often results in extended periods of high-risk sexual behavior which can increase the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
Benefits of Meth Use
Obviously, meth is a highly addictive drug that destroys lives. But some people use it for the boundless energy it produces. Others use meth because it kills hunger, prevents them from eating, and encourages weight loss.
Still others enjoy the social aspects of meth use, being part of a group of so-called friends who share a common interest: An insatiable desire to get high on meth.
Accessibility of Meth
Meth is also relatively inexpensive and accessible, especially when compared to costlier drugs like cocaine and heroin, which are also often more difficult to obtain. Meth can be manufactured practically anywhere using relatively accessible chemicals. Unlike cocaine or heroin, both of which require the growth and importation of coca and poppy plants, respectively, meth isn’t made from plants.
Consequently, it can be produced in labs that can pop up faster than law enforcement agencies can locate them and shut them down.
Ignorance of Its Effects
Many people, especially those who are young, are ignorant of the addictive effects of meth. They see it as a party drug that produces fun, exciting effects without considering the fact that it triggers biological and psychological needs.
Others believe taking meth can help them stay awake and alert longer for work, can stimulate their creativity, or can help them lose weight quickly. While all of these things may sometimes be true, they can come at a terrible cost.
Meth tends to produce cyclical highs and lows. When users are high, they can feel an elevated sense of well-being and purpose. But when the effects of the drug wear off, the resulting crash can cause fatigue, irritability, and even prolonged depression. Add to this a physical and psychological need to use the drug again, and the result is often a high state of addiction.
Complicating this addiction is the fact that people who use meth frequently socialize with other meth addicts, creating a subculture that perpetuates the drug’s use. This can make it extremely difficult for people addicted to meth to see and understand the depths of their addiction. It also can prevent them from seeking the help they need.
Author Bio – John Lee, the author of this guest articles writes in support of The Cabin Hong Kong, a famous rehab treatment centre in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for more details on meth addiction treatment, please do visit here.