Methamphetamine has been declared the most commonly abused hard drug in the world, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2006. The meth problem in America has been consistently overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, due to the explosive amounts of opioid deaths in comparison to meth overdoses, but the problem remains one of the most destructive forces in the United States.
Many people use meth because of its stimulating effect on the user, allowing the user to go days without sleep or food, and because of this effect, meth was popularized by soldiers during World War II to increase endurance during battle. The meth problem has become more mainstream these days, however, leading many to believe that they can get more work done, and work longer hours if they are powered by the extremely addictive stimulant. The more likely outcome is that users find themselves endlessly tinkering away at projects, while accomplishing very little in reality, or acting out sexually, due to the stimulating effect that meth has on an individual’s sex drive. The real problem occurs when a meth addict becomes less inhibited by laws, due to the powerful feeling of invincibility that comes with abuse of the drug, and breaks laws as a result of being high on meth. “While 30 percent of agencies responding to the 2017 National Drug Threat Survey said meth was the biggest drug threat in their areas, 36 percent also said meth had the highest correlation with violent crimes.” (Meth is Back, Nova Recovery Center). Due to the powerful drive associated with meth, coupled with an intense feeling of euphoria, meth is widely accepted as one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and it is extremely difficult to stop using once a pattern of use has started. Some of the adverse affects of meth include loss of appetite, increase blood pressure and body temperature, disturbed sleep patterns, nausea, erratic and sometimes violent behavior, hallucinations, psychosis, panic, convulsions, and seizures, with some of the long term effects including permanent damage to blood vessels, tooth decay, malnutrition, disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion, psychosis, depression and brain damage.
Though many people do not use meth outright, due to its unsavory reputation, an unprecedented number over children, teens and adults are being prescribed drugs like Adderall and Vyvance, which is chemically very similar to meth, and creates much of the same sensation. In 2012, Adderall prescriptions exploded in the US, with more than 16 million prescriptions written, popularizing the use of stimulants, and not doubt making the transition to meth much easier, especially with people that are prone to addictive tendencies.
Though it is overshadowed by the opioid epidemic in america, the meth epidemic is still a very serious problem. If you have a problem with meth, or know someone that does, and needs help, there are many programs available with experienced staff that know how to combat drug addiction, and live a fulfilling life.