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Meth, not the man

Methamphetamines are becoming a nationwide substance of abuse that is causing issues with one's physical appearance, mental health, finances, and relationships. The usage of meth has dramatically increased over the years as it is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug of abuse. So what is the speculated reason that meth is on the rise? Intervention by-laws which restricted access to pseudoephedrine. What's the hype behind it?


How about a bit of a history lesson? Methamphetamines were first synthesized in the late 1800s, later being engineered for medical purposes to treat nasal congestion and asthma. Nasal congestion and asthma? Wow. Now pharmaceutically, it is known to treat ADHD and obesity. However, please do not confuse this; illegal usage of methamphetamines is not the same as those who require treatment with amphetamines for ADHD.


Crystal meth gets its name from its shiny glass-like appearance, illuminating a bluish hue. Street names such as speed, blue, meth, ice, and crank are commonly used to deflect use detection. Typical usage includes smoking, paranasal (snorting), oral ingestion, and injection. When meth is injected, its effects can be felt in a few seconds (please remember to use clean needles if shooting up drugs. If you are snorting, you can expect to wait approx 3-5 mins. The gateway to the drug is by swallowing the pill, with the total effect taking about 15 to 30 mins. Finally, for those who like anal pleasures, it can be inserted with absorption rates in about 15 to 30 mins.


What happens when someone takes meth? Increased alertness, increase energy, euphoria, hypersexual actions, confusion, agitation, and those who are so hyper and agitated can become a danger to themselves and others. Think about jail time, hospitalizations for medical treatment, and involuntary commitments to a psychiatric facility. Reasons for medical treatment usually are due to your temperature reaching such high levels that you become confused and agitated. Agitation leads to aggressiveness which leads to someone calling the police. I could go on and on, but I think you understand there is no good end to using meth. The "high" you are chasing will only last a short time, but the damages you cause can be life-long. Seek help.


Chronic meth users have a typical appearance due to malnutrient, teeth decay, and skin breakdown. Frequent mood swings, hyperactivity, and violent behaviors are sometimes evident when one is intoxicated with meth. You may also have erosion of your inner nasals, mouth sores, and darken fingertips due to burning. Your heart rate will be increased; you will feel sticky because of sweating, and you will pace due to a condition called akathisia. Please keep in mind those these effects happen; much more effects happen to your body.


Which organs are effect by meth use? Your heart can have such complications as unstable hypertension and heart attacks; the largest artery supply to your heart can rip, possibly leading to death. The brain vessels could begin to leak, causing a hemorrhagic stroke; your dopamine system could be imbalanced, which leads to psychosis and cognitive dysfunction like memory loss and difficulty functioning. Accidental overdose leads to increase emergency room visits, where the usage of drug screens shows suspected drugs. It is important to remember that meth is metabolized by the liver and excreted through the kidneys. Is your liver being damaged, yep. Meth can also be transmitted through your uterus while pregnant. Effects on the unborn child can lead to early delivery, low birth weight, small head, and withdrawal symptoms (the same ones you hate). Meth is excreted in breast milk, so while you want your baby to have the healthiest milk option, using meth while lactating puts your baby at significant risk.


How is meth detected? Urine toxicology screens can detect amphetamines for up to 72 hours after the last ingestion of those who sparely use up to 1 week for heavy users. Why so long? Meth has a half-life of approximately 11 hours, which means it could take 24 hours for the drug to be broken down by your system. Urine toxicology is the usual method of emergency rooms and employment, but let us remember more ways to detect substance use. A blood drug test can detect meth for up to 72 hours and a hair follicle test for up to 90 days. Could you be positive for methamphetamines and never have used the drug before. Anything is probable; however, this is highly unlikely, but there are a few false-positive with some commonly used medications.


Why use? Why put your body through such damaging transitions? Why start stealing, prostituting, and figuring out ways to get more money to support your habit? Why destroy your family, friends, and employment environment? Those are legit questions; no one is here to judge you. Just ask yourself the questions. If you find yourself or someone you know who is using meth, there are ways to seek help. Research the many drug rehabs or solutions online, talk to a healthcare provider, join a support group, or be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Why would you need evaluation by a psychiatrist? For some, the beginning and continuum of substance use is due to some underlying depression, anxiety, mania, or psychosis. Many who have PTSD would rather suffer the consequences of ingestion than deal with the reality of trauma. Whatever the case may be for you, assistance is just a click away. No judgment, no ridicule, no excuse, just help, to get you back to being functional.

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