Meth Addiction and Abuse Problems Article

Meth Addiction and Abuse Problems

Meth Crystal Addiction and Abuse Problems in Los Angeles County

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Meth addiction and abuse problems are on a rise in Los Angeles County and many other places in other countries. Its use and abuse has become so common that some people have started referring to it as the new heroin. Just like any other drug, the use of this drug above its therapeutic dose has produced toxicities that have been proven to be hazardous to human health.

When people find themselves in addiction and abuse problems of Meth crystals, they then turn to the health care institutions and other rehab centers, which increase the responsibility of nurses as well as counselors. In this paper we shall look at some of the complications of addiction and abuse problems in Los Angeles County. We shall also see its impacts on the human health and health care systems. Furthermore, we shall bring into limelight the role that nursing has to play in this whole scenario and what is being done at the government and private level to make people give up this drug.


Also known as metamfetamine, meth, crystal, ice, glass, tik, methylamphetamine, N-methyl amphetamine and desoxyephedrine, methamphetamine is a known psycho stimulant (Drug Profiles, 2011). It is known to occur in two enantiomers and is rarely prescribed (Castle, Aubert, Khalid & Einstein, 2007).

Normally, the crystal meth is used by people is form of smoke in glass pipes that are similar to the way cocaine is used. Furthermore, it can also be injected, dry as well as in dissolved form. It can also be swallowed, sniffed and it can also be inserted in the urethra and anus.

When given in low dosages, meth can cause increased alertness, energy in tired and fatigued individuals and concentration. However, when given in high doses, this drug is capable of inducing mania that is accompanied by euphoria, sentiments of high self-esteem along with increased libido (Mack, Frances and Miller, 2005).

This drug also has poses a threat for addiction and abuse problems because it activates the psychological reward system in the brain. It does by activating a series of reactions that allows the release of dopamine in the brain. This cascade of reactions is termed as Amphetamine or stimulant psychosis.

If this drug is used chronically, it can also cause post-withdrawal symptoms in individuals. These symptoms are caused because of the neurotoxicity to dopaminergic neurons as a result of methamphetamine. On the other hand, it has been noted that the post-withdrawal symptoms can persist over the withdrawal period of time that is for months and at times also for about a year (Cruickshank and Dyer, 2009). Moreover, this drug not only causes psychological damage, but also physical damage to the human body. The main manifestations of the physical damage are symptoms of cardiovascular diseases (Darke, McKetin and Duflou, 2008). These are also a result of chronic use as well as acute overdose of the drug.

The harmful effects of this drug will be discussed in this paper along with the addiction and abuse problems that results from its chronic use. As this is the new drug that over taking the addiction and abuse problems of other drugs like cocaine and heroin in many regions of USA including Los Angeles County, it is important for us to look at some statistics and other information that is suggestive of these problems, their effects on the community including the nursing department. Also, we shall see the groups of people who are particularly susceptible to such addiction and abuse problems. Moreover, we shall also bring into limelight the ways through which these people can be helped to overcome their addiction and abuse problems.


According to a research that was undertaken with sponsorship of University of California, Los Angeles, the use of bupropion in treating the patients who were dependent on Meth crystals was tested. In this study, addicts of age 18 and above were recruited. However, no healthy volunteers were recruited in this city and only those individuals were chosen who were willing to get their addiction problem treated.

The reason why this study is beneficial for the addiction and abuse problems of meth crystals is that this study also provided an insight into the biology of methamphetamine that can further can help to devise ways to treat the addiction problems.

The people who were selected for this study had to use a specific range of methamphetamine in the 30 days before they entered for the study. It was also made sure that these people were willing to comply with the procedures of this study including genotyping. On the other hand, a written consent was also taken from these people. (Heinzerling, 2012).

Use of Meth Crystals

Methamphetamine has a number of medical uses. This drug is an approved one by the Food and Drug Administration. Its common use can be found in the treatment of ADHD as well as exogenous obesity in children as well as in adults (Desoxyn Drug Information, 2011). Exogenous obesity is the one that finds its origins in the factors that not in control of the patient. The Schedule II drug in the United States, Methamphetamine is sold to the people under the trade name of Desoxyn. This drug can also be prescribes off-label and can be used to treat diseases like narcolepsy and depression that has been proved to be treatment-resistant. On the other hand, this drug is commonly being used nowadays for its euphoric properties.


The physical effects of methamphetamine or meth crystals are anorexia, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, excessive sweating with flushed skin. Moreover, this drug also causes bruxism dry mouth and head ache. The effects of this drug on the cardiovascular system include arrhythmias, bradycardia, tachycardia along with increased respiratory rate and high blood pressure (Mohler, 2006). One of the detrimental effects of this drug on the heart is that it can also cause myocardial infarction (Physiological Effects of a Methamphetamine Overdose | Montana State University, 2011). This drug is also known to cause high body temperature with diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, muscle twitching, palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and tremors. Its effects on the skin include dry and itchy skin, however sometimes it is only dry, pallor and acne can also occur with high doses and chronic use. It has also been reported that chronic use of this drug can cause convulsions (Tallahassee: Institute for Intergovernmental Research, 2009). One of the other fatal, or at least paralyzing, effects of this drug is stroke (Erowid Methamphetamine Vault: Effects, 2011).

Now we shall discuss the psychological effects of this drug that include euphoria, enhanced libido, anxiety, increased alertness, energy, concentration, self-esteem, sociability, self-confidence, aggressiveness with irritability, psychomotor agitation and other disorders. Apart from this, it can cause the compulsive skin picking disorder as well as hair pulling, delusions of grandiosity and hallucinations. People who consume thus drug get increased feelings of power and invincibility along with recurrent obsessive behaviors. Moreover, this drug also causes paranoia in many people (Amphetamines: Drug Use and Dependence | Merck Manual Professional, 2011).

Methamphetamine also causes withdrawal symptoms in a person who uses it and then stops its use. The main withdrawal symptoms from which a dependent person suffers is depression, fatigue and increased appetite. These symptoms may be present in an individual for days if he or she has been using it occasionally. On the other hand, with chronic use, these symptoms may last for about weeks or months.

The duration of the withdrawal symptoms depend on duration of time for which the individual has been consuming methamphetamine. Some of the other withdrawal symptoms are irritability, agitation, anxiety, excessive sleep, restlessness. There are some sleeping disorders that a person might suffer from as part of the withdrawal symptoms. These include vivid and bright dreams during REM sleep (McGregor, Srisurapanont, Jittiwutikarn, Laobhripatr, Wongtan, White, 2005).

The long-term use of meth is associated with depression and suicide attempts along with fatal heart diseases. People who use this drug over a long duration of time, they normally have violent behaviors because they feel anxious all the time. Its long-term use is also not advisable because it has a tendency to cause addiction in the people of use it.

According to the studies, methamphetamine does not have direct neurotoxic effects. However, when it is used over a long period of time, it can cause neurotoxic effects. Some reports have also suggested that the use of meth can be associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. This is because this drug results in increased release of dopamine, which is neurotoxic (Thrash, Thiruchelvan, Ahuja, Suppiramaniam, Dhanasekaran, 2009). When this drug is used over a long period of time, an up-regulation of the dopaminergic receptors takes place that is responsible for causing neurotoxicity. This neurotoxicity then results in cognitive disorders that include memory loss, attention deficit along with decrease in execution functions. The use of methamphetamine also causes negative effects on the serotonin system (Krasnova, Cadet, 2009).

More than 20% of the people who get addicted to methamphetamine develop psychosis that persists for a long period of time. This disorder resembles schizophrenia after they stop using methamphetamine. These symptoms last for more than 6 months and do not even respond to treatment (Barr, Panenka, MacEwan, Thornton, Lang, Honer, Lecomte, 2006).

People also develop tolerance to methamphetamine. The development of tolerance is not fully understood. However, it is know that the development is based on a cascade of mechanisms that cannot yet be fully explained. The development of tolerance, its rate and extent, vary from one individual to another. Nonetheless, it has been established that tolerance to this drug depends on its dosage, the duration of its consumption and the frequency of its use.

Methamphetamine is also known to cause short time tolerance in some individuals. This is caused because of decreased levels of neurotransmitters when they have not been released from the synaptic vesicles. Typically, the duration of the short-term tolerance is until the depletion of the neurotransmitter levels. This is because of the toxic impact on the dopaminergic neurons and can last for more than 2-3 days.

The up-regulation of the dopamine receptors that is caused by meth, eventually leads to the down-regulation of these receptors so as to compensate for the increased levels of dopamine that are left in the synaptic cleft. Increased amount of the same drug is required to achieve the optimum level of effects of the drug. On the other hand, it is also possible that this drug might cause reverse tolerance or sensitization. Even though this effect has been well established, the mechanism that causes this effect is not yet fully understood.


Needless to say, methamphetamine exhibits highly addictive properties. Even though, there is not much chance for the withdrawal symptoms to be dangerous, but these withdrawal symptoms result in the relapse and heavy use of this drug. This drug induces hyper-stimulation of the pleasure pathways in the brain that lead to anhedonia months after the use of drug is given up. Many investigations are being carried out pertaining to the treatment of meth addiction. As mentioned above it includes the administration of bupropion, which targets the dopamine pathway. Moreover, other psychological treatments are also being used to target the behavior of the people who get addicted to this drug (Leventhel, 2008).

Other methods that have been devised include the administration of the amino acids known as L-tyrosine and tryptophan. These amino acids are known to help in the recovery process. They do this by facilitating the body to reverse the depletion of neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin). This method has still not been shown to be completely effective, even though many studies that involved the use of these amino acids in the treatment of this addiction have shown some degree of success.

Some other studies have also suggested that if a person takes ascorbic acid before the use of methamphetamine, this may help in reducing the acute toxicity that this drug may cause to the brain. When rats were given the human equivalent of about 5-10 grams of ascorbic acid 30 minutes before the administration of methamphetamine dosage, the toxicity was seen to be mediated. However, this will not be of great benefit when this method is used to solve the other powerful behavioral issues that are associated with methamphetamine addiction.

Studies have shown that as a result of increased doses of ascorbic acid, the urinary pH of subjects have lowered, inducing reduction in methamphetamine’s elimination half-life and consequently reducing the extent of its activity (JM, EJ, RE, ET and MA, 2002).

In an effort to battle addiction, doctors have begun to employ alternative stimulants such as dextroamphetamine, the dextrorotatory (right-handed) isomer of the amphetamine molecule, in order to disrupt the addiction cycle; the basic inspiration of this method is the roleof methadone when treating heroin addicts. For methamphetamine issues, the most favored publicly allowed drug is naloxone, acting as an inhibitor of opiate receptors which makes it perfect for use in treating dependence on opiates. Alternatively, ongoing experiments using monoamine reuptake inhibitors like indatraline have showed positive results in stopping methamphetamine’s effects from working (RB, JS, MH, CM, FI, KC, 2000). Other studies show that fluoxetine, bupropion and imipramine are likely to aid in reduction of craving and ensuring observance of the required treatment (BT, KI, KA, 2007). Drugs such as modafinil and Topiramate have both shown positive results when used in treatment for methamphetamine use, according to research (Medication can help recovering meth addicts stay sober, study finds, 2012).

Addiction to methamphetamine is proving to be one of the hardest to successfully overcome as bupropion, aripiprazole, and baclofen have been put to use in the treatment of post-withdrawal cravings, with the success rate turning out to be rather discouraging. Modafinil shows better results, but due to being a Class IV scheduled drug, its use is restricted. Europe has been making use of ibogaine, where it is a Class I drug and specifically accessible for scientific research, with encouraging success rates. Reports on a few small-population studies have shown mirtazapine to be useful.

As the phenethylamine phentermine is a constitutional isomer of methamphetamine, it has been suggested that it may be effective in treating methamphetamine addiction. Phentermine is a central nervous system stimulant that acts on dopamine and norepinephrine. When comparing (+)-amphetamine, (+/-)-ephedrine, and phentermine, one key difference among the three drugs is their selectivity for norepinephrine (NE) release vs. dopamine (DA) release. The NE/DA selectivity ratios for these drugs as determined in vitro [(EC (50) NE (-1))/(EC (50) DA (-1))] are (+/-)-ephedrine (18.6) > phentermine (6.7) > (+)-amphetamine (3.5) (Noradrenergic and dopaminergic effects of (+)-amphetamine-like stimulants in the baboon Papio Anubis, 2011).

When the use of this drug is stopped abruptly after a long duration of use, it results in the withdrawal symptoms in approximately 90% of the people. Some reports suggests that the mental depression that is a part of the withdrawal symptoms is even severe and lasts longer than the depression suffered by people with cocaine addiction.

One of the other most important adverse effects that are seen people with meth addiction and abuse problems is the Meth mouth. People who are addicted to meth crystals tend to lose their teeth indeed abnormally fast. This is a condition that is referred to as meth mouth. According to the definition presented by American Dental Association, meth mouth is perhaps a combined disorder of psychological as well physiological changes caused by the drug. These changes cause the mouth to become dry, a condition known as xerostomia. This condition is also caused because of poor oral hygiene over a long period of time, consumption of high-calorie food frequently, drinking carbonated drinks and grinding and clenching of teeth. Moreover, some reports are suggestive of the fact that this damage to the mouth is done because of the toxic nature of the drug itself. There are many studies that have concluded that in people who already smoke, methamphetamine has the potential to cause increased smoking in these people (AA and S, 2004). Smoking along with toxic nature of meth crystals causes the manifestations of the meth mouth.

Women who are addicted to meth crystals will cause a huge deal of damage to the health of their babies. Studies have shown that the drug (methamphetamine) present in meth crystals enters the blood stream when taken through any route. Once in the bloodstream, this drug is able to pass through the placenta to enter the blood circulation of the fetus. Moreover, this drug can also get secreted in the breast milk of the female. Babies who are born to mother who addicted to meth crystals are born significantly before their due date of birth. The age-adjusted head circumference as well as the weight measurements of these babies is also deranged. When neonates are exposed to this drug, they also show withdrawal symptoms as present in the adults. These babies present with vomiting, agitation and tachypnea (Chomchai et al., 2010). However, the manifestations of the withdrawal symptoms in these babies are somewhat mild and they can be treated with medical intervention.

It has been concluded that the men who have become addicted to meth crystals or cocaine for that matter, are twice as likely to go for unprotected sexual activities than the people who do not have any kind of addiction or abuse problems.

Perry N. Halkitis, an American phsychologist performed a study in which she made an analysis of the data that was gathered from random community-based people. These participants were chosen from bisexual and gay men and were examined to find a relationship between their level of meth crystal addiction and sexual risk taking actions. It was then established that people who are addicted to the meth crystals, they show higher frequencies of indulging into unsafe sexual activities. The relationship between people who are addicted to meth crystals and the risky sexual behavior is more pronounced in addicts who are also HIV-positive. Furthermore, it was concluded that use of meth crystals and involvement in risky anal intercourse occur together in people who are HIV-positive among the gay and bisexual men (Halkitis, Mukherjee and Palamar, 2008). Another effects of this drug is that keeps the addicts of both sexes to be involved in sexual activity for a long period of time that also results in abrasions and genital sores. Also because of the oral abrasions caused by meth crystals, people tend to engage more in sexual activities because they cannot have oral sex anymore.

When a study was carried out to assess the level of needle sharing in meth addicts, it was found out that people who are addicted to meth and use it through the IV route are as likely to transmit blood borne diseases including hepatitis and HIV as people who addicted to any other drugs (Methamphetamine Use and Health | UNSW: The University of New South Wales — Faculty of Medicine, 2011).

Effects on the society

Methamphetamine also has a number of medical uses as they have been mentioned above. People who work in the labs where this drug is being processed and synthesized are exposed to high concentrations of the chemical vapors of this drug. The exposure to these vapors, even if it is short-term, can cause health problems in the people who work in these labs. The health problems that are develop in these people can be so severe that these people may also die in a short period of time. The lab workers can be exposed to these chemical vapors through the volatile air emissions, fires, spills as well as explosions. The labs that are constructed illegally for the synthesis of meth crystals are often discovered when they catch fire. This causes further contamination of the environment because fire is also a way for these chemicals to spread. Furthermore, the chemical residues and other wastes of the lab that are left after a meth lab is destroyed also poses a health threat to the community and therefore the departments that are responsible for local health should take the responsibility to assess the surrounding areas and inhibit people from entering the area where the presence of chemical vapors is suspected.

Patterns of Meth Use

In a research that was carried out in 2004 in Los Angeles County, it was reported that 1.4 million people, which accounted for 0.6% of the people aged 12 or above, had consumed methamphetamine in the past year. On the other hand, 583,000 (that was 0.2%) had consumed this drug in the last one month. Furthermore 318,000 people had used this drug for the first time in the last one year. At the same time, the number of people who were labeled as addicts or dependent on this drug according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria also increased from an approximate figure of 164,000 (27.5% increase from the last one month) in the 2002 to 346,000 in the year 2004.

When a comparison was made between the meth crystal addicts and people who are addicted to cocaine and other drugs, it was found at that the use of meth crystals as a stimulant is used by people at a very young age. Since they get addicted to it at a younger age, they have to enter the treatment at a younger age as well. These people are also more prone to get involved in other drugs, for example marijuana. Meth crystal addicts tend to use this drug more frequently and are mostly found not use alcohol. Studies have also shown that meth addicts need to use this drug continuously throughout the course of the day without many intervals. Since the cost of meth crystals is less than that of cocaine, these people have to spend less on their addiction.

When a study was carried out in Los Angeles County in 2003, of the total number of people who were recruited for treatment of meth addiction, 45% of these people were found to be females. The ratio of female addicts has found to be the highest in meth crystal addiction when compared to the percentage of female addicts who are seeking treatment for the addiction of other drugs. However, the percentage of females dependent on sedatives, tranquilizers and other opiates is still greater. The thing that needs consideration here is that children are likely to get influenced if their parents consume meth crystals, especially mothers because they are the caretakers of children.

Also, the percentage of Caucasian people who were addicted to this drug was more than the percentage of any other ethnic group.

When compared to their male counterparts, female meth crystal addicts consume methamphetamine more frequently in a 30-day period. They are seen to smoke this drug rather than inject it. These females are normally separated and live along with their children. Studies have also suggested that these females have a deteriorated medical, employment as well as psychiatric profiles.

According to these statistics, the risk for children of the females who are addicted to this drug is increased as compared to the children whose fathers consume this drug. When both or one of the parents get addicted to this drug, they are not able to provide for their children sufficiently. It has also been established that people who become meth crystal drug addicts are the people who have suffered from sexual abuse when they were young. According to a recent report, 33% of the meth addicts were found to have been abused sexually before the age of 15.

The relationship between drug abuse and child abuse and neglect has been established. It has been documented that people who were abused or neglected when they were children are very likely to become addicted to this drug. When these people become meth addicts, they then tend to abuse other children and neglect their own children. The disorders then passed on from parents to children in this way. This is the reason why it is important that child welfare should be given special attention so that there are fewer chances for these children to develop any psychological problems.

According to the most recent statistics of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a study that was carried out in 2009, about 1.2 million American people of the age 12 and above had used and abused the meth crystals at least once in the last one year.

After this study, in 2010 NIDA funded another research that was called the Monitoring the Future Study. This study showed that about 1.2% of the students in 8th grade, 1.6% of the students in 10th grade and 1.0% of students in the 12th grade had used and abused meth crystals at least once in the last one year.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Before we get to the treatment of meth addiction and abuse problems in Los Angeles County and elsewhere, we need to identify the challenges that we might have to face while treating the people with meth crystal addiction. It is important for us to know that the person who is coming in for treatment of meth addiction requires several nights of sound sleep because the meth addicts stay awake for many days. These people are very agitated during the first month of their treatment and they also have a very restricted attention span. Moreover, these people also have psychiatric issues and delusions. Sometimes these people can get extremely agitated and it gets really hard for the nurses of doctors to take care of them. Along with agitation, these people also start having physical problems that include wounds, advanced tooth decay and seizures. Many of these people are multiple drug abusers so it becomes even difficult to treat their addiction.

However, it is also important for us to know that meth crystal addiction is not a problem that does not have a cure. For instance, Matrix Model is based on a 16-week intervention that involves intensive group as well as individual therapy to enhance the behavioral changes. The target of this treatment is to bring these people back to the normal lifestyle and prevent the relapse of the addiction and abuse problems. The results of the application of Matrix Model have shown significant reduction in the use and abuse of this drug.

Other methods that are currently being used to treat the patients with meth crystal addiction include Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery. This is a method based on incentives to promote abstinence in people who are addicted to meth crystals and cocaine. This treatment has also proved to be effected to treat meth addiction through NIDA’s National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network.

However, at this point in time there are no medications that can be given to the people with meth addiction. Nonetheless, NIDA has come up with the development of medications to treat this fast growing addiction. For instance, a recent trial that was carried out showed that the anti-depressant medication bupropion, that also known as Welburtin, is effective for reducing the meth addiction in people who have been consuming low to moderate amounts of the drug. Many other trials are also being carried out with other medicinal drugs.

Moreover, NIDA is also going for a new approach that is going to be based on vaccines. These vaccines will contain antibodies that have been produced against the drug. This can prove to be a very successful treatment to treat meth addiction in people.

These antibodies will bind to the meth drug, when it is present in the blood stream of the person and therefore it will restrict the entry of the drug into the brain and dopamine system will not be affected. When dopamine will not be released, the reward center in the brain will not be activated and the people will not get addicted to the drug.

According to another report released by NIDA, the most effective treatment for the meth addicts is the one that involves the behavioral therapies. These behavioral therapies include cognitive behavior along with contingency management interventions. When asked about the most comprehensive behavioral treatment approach, NIDA has put forth the idea of Matrix Model, as mentioned above. This therapy is particularly useful because it integrates the behavioral therapy with family education as well as individual counseling. This approach is based on a 12-step approach in which drug testing, incentives for not using drugs and other methods have shown a significant reduction in the abuse of meth crystals.

On the other hand, contingency management interventions provide concrete incentives to the people who are involved in the abuse of this drug. They are told to give up the drug and in exchange they are offered attractive incentives. This approach has also showed encouraging results in the past.

As mentioned before, there are no specific and certified medications that can be prescribed to the people who come to seek help for their meth addiction. There are no drugs that have been synthesized so far that can keep the addicts from using these drugs. Nonetheless, there are many medicinal drugs that have been approved by FDA but are used to treat other diseases are have also shown effectiveness in the treatment of meth addiction and abuse problems.

Recent researches have shown that the anti-depressant drug Wilburton not only reduces the high that results from the use and abuse of meth crystals, but it also reduces the craving for this drug. This is an extra benefit of this drug. However, its use has not yet been confirmed in the treatment of meth addiction and abuse problems. Many studies are going on in Los Angeles to establish a concrete relationship between this medicine and the reduction in meth abuse issues. On the other hand, there are also many other drugs that are being studied for the same purpose and chances are high that a medicinal treatment for the addiction problems of meth crystals will be devised soon.

When the people involved in the treatment of the meth addicts start with their treatment, they should keep in mind that the treatment options for every individual vary from one individual to another. Sometimes there are a number of approaches that need to be used by counselors, doctors and nurses so that a particular person can achieve his or her goals of recover. This is because a different kind of treatment might work on different individuals.

They should also keep in mind that the treatment may take a lot of time and nerves in the beginning but at the end it always pays off. It should always be remembered that recovery is not possible instantaneously. This process is ongoing as well as it requires a lot of work that needs to be maintained. However, when this treatment becomes successful, it makes significant changes to the lives of the people who are addicted to the meth crystals.

Each one of the addicts and each of the people who are involved in the treatment of the addiction and abuse problems should know that treatment is possible for everyone and there are no exceptions. Nonetheless, it is a different case if someone is not interested to get their addiction treated. First and foremost it is important for the addict to talk to a doctor, a teacher, a therapist or a family member who can help him or her get out of this problem.

Treatments always work if the given and the taker of the treatment are devoted towards regaining their normal healthy life.


There are many aspects through which the meth crystals addiction and abuse problems can be considered. There is one aspect in which we can bring into limelight the problems that are caused by the overdose and chronic use of this drug. Along with this, we also have to see the main reasons that lead to the addiction of this drug. Moving on further, we also need to see what can be done to prevent people from getting them addicted to this drug. Then if unfortunately, they have become addicted to this drug, and then we have to see what can be done to treat these people so that they can lead a healthy and normal life.

The problem of meth crystal addiction and abuse cannot be taken lightly any longer. This is because the statistics mentioned above (and others) have shown that more and more people are turning towards consuming this drug as it is available over the counter, is cheap and delivers what it promises. People who have used this drug as well as others say that meth crystals give an ultimate feeling of well-being.

The main reasons why people turn to this drug is that it gives a great feeling of self-confidence, self-esteem and power by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain that then activates the reward system in the brain. People, who do not have a very pleasant past, for example people who have been sexually abused as children or children who have been neglected by parents, tend to turn to these drugs more than the others. Therefore, the government and other stake holders should establish welfare centers for these people so that they do not turn to drugs for help.

Moreover, there is also an increased need for the government to restrict the sale of methamphetamine over the counter and such low costs that is available for almost everyone. Also, there should be regulatory authority that can make sure that there are no illegal factories that make this drug and then sells them in the market. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical companies should come up with other formulas that do not require the use of methamphetamine for the treatment of the diseases in which it is used.

Many of the adverse effects of this drug include depression, anxiety along with serious mouth diseases. This drug also causes anorexia. Females who are pregnant or breast feed with babies should not use this drug at all because this can be fatal for their babies. This drug also has some serious impacts on the cardiovascular system. The heartbeat of the heart is disturbed along with the normal rhythm of the heart. The veins and blood vessels also get constricted due to which people who are addicted to meth crystals start looking old and wrinkled. This effect is also enhanced by the drying and scaling property of this drug.

Since there has been an established relationship between the use of this drug and HIV-positive gay and bisexual people, the overdose or addiction of this drug also results in risky sexual behavior as well anal and genital abrasions.

Studies need to be carried out to find the particular group of people in which the addiction and abuse problems of meth crystals can be seen. For example it is know that people of Caucasian origin are found to be involved in meth addiction more than the people of any other origin. Similarly, the use of this drug is significant in people who are gay or bisexual. These people can then be treated accordingly.

Even though, there is no specific medicinal treatment for these people, we can always help them with the behavioral approaches until a medicinal treatment is devised. There is an increased need for the establishment of special departments where the people who are addicted to meth crystals should be treated, since this problem is rising with every passing day.

More number of people need to be educated about this problem so that they can treat and counsel the addicts in a proper. Also, awareness campaigns should be launched to so that people might get aware of some of the fatal effects of methamphetamine.


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Oyler JM, Cone EJ, Joseph RE, Moolchan ET, Huestis MA (2002). “Duration of detectable methamphetamine and amphetamine excretion in urine after controlled oral administration of methamphetamine to humans.” Clinical Chemistry 48 (10): 1703 — 14.

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Thrash, B., Thiruchelvan, K., Ahuja, M., Suppiramaniam, V. & Dhanasekaran, M. (2009). “Methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity: the road to Parkinson’s disease.” Pharmacol Rep 61 (6): 966 — 77.

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