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meth by chenshu


									Angie Cho
Hang Nguyen
Jennifer Nguyen
June , 2005

                          Methamphetamine: “Life or Meth”

       “An amine” derives from the word amphetamine, C10H15N, which is used

in the form of its crystalline hydrochloride as a central nervous system stimulant,

both medically and illicitly ( As a powerful drug that is one of

the most destructive substances used in our society today, it has become a

problematic epidemic that has greatly affected our community that must end.

It is a highly addictive drug that people continue to use. Even if a first time user

experiment with this drug, it is very difficult to say that it will be their “only” and

“last” time. Even on their first try, they may experience many of the negative


      The short term use of meth can affect the central nervous system and the

cardiovascular (Meth). The stimulation of the drug affects the central nervous

system that will last for four to twenty-four hours (Meth). The side effects of the

central nervous system include: the increase of attention and decrease fatigue;

increase activity; decrease appetite; can cause euphoria and rush; and

increase respiration (Fast Facts About Meth). Other effects to the system can

cause: writhing jerkiness or flailing movement; irritability; extreme nervousness;

insomnia; confusion; tremors; anxiety; aggression; incessant talking;

hyperthermia; and convulsions, which can result in death. The side effects on

the cardiovascular include: pupil dilation; respiratory disorders; dizziness; tooth

grinding; impaired speech; dry or itchy skin; loss of appetite; acne; sores;

numbness; and sweating (Fast Facts About Meth). The usage of

methamphetamine can produce chest pain and hypertension, which can result

in cardiovascular collapse and death. Accelerated heartbeat, elevated blood

pressure are additional causes, which can cause irreversible damage to blood

vessels in the brain (Fast Facts About Meth).

      Short term and long term effects have common symptoms and outcomes,

but long term side effects are more dangerous and extreme. Signs of prolonged

methamphetamine abuse will damage a person mentally and physically

through the alteration of their personalities and appearance. Long term effects

are characterized by strange behavior of dependency and addiction psychosis:

like anger; panic; auditory and visual hallucinations; repetitive behavior patterns

and formication, which is the delusions of parasites or insects on the skin (Fast

Facts About Meth). Homicidal or suicidal thoughts are influenced through this

drug. It can alter a person’s behavior, causing: chronic depression;

hallucinations; violent and aggressive behavior; malnutrition; disturbed

personality development; paranoid psychosis or mimic schizophrenia

(Methamphetamine). The physiological effects of meth use include: abnormally

high blood pressure; lung disorder; rapid and irregular heart rate and rhythm;

seizures; blood clots; damage to blood vessels in the brain (stroke);

accumulation of excess fluid in lungs, brain tissue and skull; continuous/excessive

dilation of the pupils; impaired regulation of heat loss; hyperpyrexia; internal

bleeding; damage to other organs caused by disruption of blood flow; and

breakdown of muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure (Fast Facts About Meth).

      Overall, the abuse of methamphetamine can not only change behavior

in a severe state, but after a long period use of it, “the drug can literally change

the brain in fundamental and long-lasting ways” (Fast Facts About Meth). It is a

deadly drug to use because it can kill a person due to “heart failure, brain

damage, and stroke and it induce extreme, acute psychiatric and

psychological symptoms that may lead to suicide or murder” (Fast Facts About


      After a person takes methamphetamine, their mood can be altered in a

number of different ways, depending on how the drug was taken. If the drug

was being smoked or intravenously injected, then the user will experience an

extremely intense pleasure of “rush” or “flash” that lasts a few minutes. Smoking

or injecting is the most frequently used method because it produces the fastest

pleasure effect, within five to ten seconds (Meth ). Another method is snorting or

ingesting orally, which produces a high but not an intense rush called euphoria

(Meth). The snorting and ingesting method takes a longer time to stimulate. By

using the snorting method, it will produce the effects within three to five minutes,

while ingesting orally will produce the effects within fifteen to twenty minutes

(Meth ). Parallel to other drugs substances, the method of “smoking and inhaling

meth damages the lungs and nasal passages, and intravenous use can lead to

spread of the AIDS virus”( Meth).

      Behavior symptoms of meth abusers are sometimes hard to notice, but

with the combination of changes in their appearance and behavior, it is hard

not to see a meth user before your eyes. As you can see below, there are two

pictures, one before and after. This woman could be mistaken for being twenty

years older then her actual age; but she's just 2 1/2 years into her

methamphetamine addiction (Faces of Meth). Meth can rapidly reconstruct a

person’s face, making a person appear older in a relatively short period. There

are significant differences in their appearance, their facial image ages; and is

deformed dramatically, sometimes due to fornication. The drastic change in

their appearance is due to the use of meth, they are the “faces of meth” (Faces

of Meth).

                             Before          &   AFTER

      In addition to the consequences of abusing meth, it can harm the body

and the health. The central nervous system is stimulated by meth, causing

chemical reactions in the brain and manipulating the body into believing it has

“unlimited energy supplies and draining energy reserves needed in other parts

of the body” (Meth). The stimulation in the nervous system is why meth users

“tend to stay awake for long periods of time and then eventually crash, feeling

tired, depressed and much worse than they did before they took the drug”(

Meth). The development of bizarre behavior is due to the chemical imbalances

in the brain and sleep deprivation commonly associated with the continuance

of abusing meth. Meth literally destroys the body, causing permanent physical

damage or death (Meth). The usage of methamphetamine only has negative

effects towards the abuser.

      When looking at the case of methamphetamine it’s important to

understand why people generally use methamphetamine and reasons are the

parents of the individual was heavily using methamphetamine during

pregnancy therefore affecting the offspring’s genes to become damaged with

greater chance of getting addicted after one use. But growing number of

Athletes and students sometimes begin using methamphetamine because of

the initial heightened physical and mental performance the drug produces.

Regular service workers may use the drug to work extra shifts, while young

women often begin using methamphetamine to lose weight. Others use meth

recreationally to stay energized at "rave" parties or other social activities. In

addition, meth is less expensive and more accessible than cocaine and users

often have the misconception that methamphetamine is not really a drug. (KCI:

The Anti- Meth Site). Usage of Methamphetamine is not only a chaos for the

abuser but also the community because of horrible car accidents; explosion of

labs through illegal production; spreading viral diseases through in sanitize

usage. The location of meth users used to be in the rural areas but gradually

spread to the urban and suburban areas, according to the surveys taken by

Oregon Partnership there is not much difference between use between male

and females but there has been an increase of use within the Hispanic and

Native American communities, but Caucasians are still dominant users.

      After a person have become terribly affected and possibly addicted to

methamphetamine he or she would most likely steal ,resort to doing favors for

other people , such as trafficking drugs ,begging for money , and some females

would prostitute themselves ( Dang 2005).

      Meth is terribly simple to make and the instructions can be found on the

internet, resultantly just welcomes more Meth lab and usage in this society.

Meth labs range from suburban homes to small suitcases (KCI: The anti-meth

site). And that causes great difficulty to find. It is strongly advised to never use

the coffee pot at a hotel or motel because it can be used to filter the meth . It

would not be pure methamphetamine but its “cut meth” mix with other

insignificant ingredients .There would only be 30% of methamphetamine

concentration, so the user cannot get the complete high as real

methamphetamine (Dang 2005). The main ingredient of

Methamphetamine is ephedrine, a controlled substance. Because it is difficult to

obtain ephedrine, drug dealers use pseudoephedrine, found in many over-the-

counter medicines. But even these medicines are no longer placed on the

shelves due to the knowledge of other uses (Fast Facts about Meth). Titration

and filtration is a process used to remove buffers and produce ephedrine. Cash

purchases of large quantities of red phosphorous and iodine (for hydroiodic

acid) are made by drug dealers in order to produce methamphetamine. No

federal regulations or quantity limitations control the sale of these chemicals;

therefore, it is difficult for the DEA( The Drug Enforcement Agency ) to track their

possession. But the DEA are beginning to keep track of people who purchase

large quantities of ingredients used in meth production because great chances

are those individuals are buying them for meth purposes ( Meth).

      Methamphetamine is not only dangerous the ingestion purposes but also

for the environment because it is Ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and toxic

chemicals can cause explosions, fires, toxic fumes, and damage to health and

environment Because Meth manufacturing or "cooking" leaves behind 5 to 7

pounds of chemical waste for each pound of meth that is made. These

byproducts are considered hazardous waste (Minnesota Department of Health).

What’s horribly ironic about this whole situation is the cost of making

Methamphetamine is extremely less than the cost of destroying or remedying

the labs. The average cost would be around $ 5,000 but there has been up to $

150,000 ( KCI: The Anti-Meth Site). The labs are cleared with only meth lab

cleaners who are specialists would come to these sites to carry out precise and

careful procedures because one wrong move could cause an explosion

(Minnesota Department of Health).

To save oneself from the toxic exposures, it is possible to tell or suspect a Meth

lab when the house smells unusually strong of nail polish remover or cat urine


      There is still hope when if comes to meth user to receive treatment for

Meth addiction and the Treatment clinics for Meth are increasing its numbers to

help the users recover. These Treatments consist of psycho therapy or counseling

which helps the mental state of the user to resist cravings. It takes causual users 6

to 8 months to get rid of the craving feelings compare to a regular user would

take 2 to 3 years (Fast Facts about Meth). The longer the abstinence from meth

would result to greater chances from having cravings and relapse because it

allows the brain to repair some emendable damages. But most of the times the

methamphetamine abuser might still be unsatisfied because they cannot

control themselves from wanting that feeling of high. Every treatment varies

because it really depends on how bad the methamphetamine had damaged

the abuser. No treatment is guarantee to cure addiction to Meth , so the

reasons to relapse would be psychiatric, social, and biological components to

meth dependence which are also similar to cocaine users. One thing that

society should know that treatments for meth user is a much more cost-

effective alternative compare to jail because it costs one tenth less to put a

person in treatment programs. Meth users who have been arrested would be

put in mandatory meth treatments (Dang 2005).

      Enforcement on Meth users are to go to mandatory Meth treatments , if

the individual was found with 10 grams of pure Methamphetamine then the

sentence would be 5 years and 100 grams of pure Methamphetamine would

result to 10 years in prison (KCI: The Anti-Meth Site). Also in 1996 the

Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act was developed to take

significant steps in preventing Methamphetamine from becoming the next crisis

in drug abuse.

      Methamphetamine is the most difficult drug to treat in the US. Oregon is

one of the main sources for methamphetamine all across the United States.

Methamphetamine first surfaced in Oregon’s community in the 1990’s. Western

Oregon was hit the hardest and it is available in multi-pounds in this area. The

northwest part of Oregon is also known for meth usage and is very common

there. The short name for methamphetamine is meth.

      There are many robberies and identity theft issues that are connected to

meth. Statistics show that 85% of the cases are related to it and meth is the

main reason why children are removed from their homes.

      This statistic of meth is from 2004. It shows the percent of usage for each

age group. 24% of teens under eighteen use meth. Ages eighteen to twenty-

three there are 35%. People of the ages thirty to forty 13% of the people use

meth and for over age forty only 6% of the people use meth.

                 Under 18 years old            24%
                 18-23 years old               35%
                 23-30 years old               19%
                 30-40 years old               13%
                 Over 40 years old             6%

      This graph below shows the number of arrest for Methamphetamine in the

United States. The graph was made by information of arrest in the past three

years 2000, 2001 and 2002. In 2001 there were 13,505 arrests and in 2001 there

were 14,923 arrests and in 2002 there were 17,696.

      In 2000, 4% of the US population reported trying meth in their lifetime. Meth

is used by people of all different ages and for different reasons. Some people

use it out of curiosity whereas others may be using it for the reputation that it has

for increasing energy and sexuality. For people who work long hours they may

use it to help them stay awake and alert for a long period of time. The drug is

the most popular with students in high school and college. Meth is becoming

popular with many people who are eighteen and younger. They feel that it is

safer and easier to buy than cocaine and the effects last longer. Between 1990

and 1996 the use of the drug has nearly doubled among high school seniors.

Teenagers as young as the age 14 and 15 have been caught by the police

selling the drug. For many colleges student’s meth is a very popular drug that is

used in raves and in parties. Along with meth the use of Marijuana and alcohol

consumption is fairly common.

       It is also common with the white blue-collar workers and people who are

unemployed roughly between the ages of twenty and thirty. It is used in both

the suburbs and the urban area. It is popular with both males and females.

Some areas thee are an increase in the number of Hispanic and Native

Americans using methamphetamine. Whites are still the most dominant group of

people who use the drug.

      Methamphetamine is an addictive drug and needs to be controlled.

Methamphetamine is a problem that comes from the community. The

community needs to be involved to stop it. People can help by calling law

enforcements and police when they see suspicious activity. Family members

and friends who know loved ones using the drug can encourage the person to

seek treatment. Parents talking to children can also be a very effective way to

reduce the use of methamphetamine in Oregon and all over the United States.

Methamphetamine needs to be stopped by the community.

                                 WORK CITED

“Meth”. Smart Choices Prevention/Intervention Program.

      <>. 19 May 2005.

“Faces of Meth”. FOX 12 Oregon. 2001-2005 WorldNow and KPTV.

      <>. 21 May 2005.

“Methamphetamine”. Drugs TV. NIDA Research Report. 1998.

      <>. 19 May 2005.

“”. 2005.

      <> 20 May


“Fast Facts About Meth”.

      <>. 20 May 2005.

KCI: the Anti –Meth Site. (2005). Manufacturing of Methamphetamine. Retrieved

      May 27, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Officer D. Dang, LAPD. Telephone Interview. 30 May 2005.

Minnesota Department of Health.(19 May 2005 ). Meth Lab Clean up. Retrieved

     May 28 ,2005 from the world wide web:


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