Addiction to METH
By: Nicholas W. LaRochelle
The History of Methamphetamines
How do people become addicted?
What Kind of Treatment is There?
The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction at this point are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. Consequently, meth is one of the hardest drug addictions to treat and many die in its grip.
Statistics on Methamphetamine
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the worldwide production of amphetamine-type stimulants, which includes methamphetamine, at nearly 500 metric tons a year, with 24.7 million abusers. The United States government reported in 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 have used methamphetamine—and 529,000 of those are regular users.In 2007, 4.5% of American high-school seniors and 4.1% of tenth grade students reported using methamphetamine at least once in their life. In the United States, 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 Hawaii, where 48.2% of the people seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse in 2007 were methamphetamine users.
The Price You Pay for Having an Addiction to Meth
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
- Dilation of pupils
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
- Hallucinations, hyperexcitability, irritability
- Panic and psychosis
- Convulsions, seizures and death from high doses
- Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
- Liver, kidney and lung damage
- Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
- Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
- Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
- Malnutrition, weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
- Strong psychological dependence
- Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy