No drug over the last ten years has received the concentrated focus of the mass media, Hollywood, and citizen groups quite like crystal meth. While cocaine is often portrayed as being dangerous but still cool, meth has been characterized as an instant destroyer of life. It is unknown how many people in the US currently use meth, but other than marijuana, it is widely considered to be the most commonly used illegal drug. What makes matters even more difficult to deal with is that anyone with basic chemistry knowledge can create meth, and the drug is incredibly inexpensive, which means that the general public has almost universal access to such substance abuse. It also means that the need for substance abuse treatment centers is higher than ever.
While Western media would love you to believe that if you smoke a single marijuana cigarette, snort a single line of coke, or drop one pill of Ecstasy, you will be instantly addicted for life, homeless within a week, and dead within a month, many sufferers of meth addiction actually report that very reaction. An ad campaign used to help deter people from using meth was titled “Not Even Once,” and although meth usage in the United States continues to rise, it is a wise message to heed. No other drug currently used in the US has such a drastic and instant impact on a person as meth does. The now-famous before and after photographs of what a meth addict looked like before they began using, compared to after, are everywhere and have done wonders to help scare kids and adults alike from trying this dangerous drug. No drug, not even heroin, is considered as dangerous, as harmful, and as completely and utterly addictive as meth, mostly because of its ease of availability, its price, and the way it affects the human body. Meth is one drug that you do not want to experiment with.
Like most drugs, meth has both short-term and long-term effects. While most people would consider the short-term effects to be positive (the high of the drug), hyperthermia is often experienced and can be fatal if not treated. The long-term effects are universally negative. A person often undergoes extreme paranoia, hallucinations, significant weight loss due to the fact that meth suppresses your appetite, increased likelihood of a stroke, and more. Since meth causes huge amounts of dopamine to be released into the brain, the receptors for dopamine can be damaged, which causes significant mood swings if used for too long.
Police and lawmakers around the country are cracking down on meth addiction since it has become such a problem from coast to coast. A person may have been sent to an addiction rehab center and received a light jail sentence 15 years ago, but now, you can expect to serve a minimum amount of time in jail as well as pay a heavy fine. If you are caught selling meth, you could go to jail for the rest of your life. Meth addicts often have a difficult and long road to recovery ahead of them, but a full recovery is possible with the right support at a drug rehab center.