Is Meth Still a Drug of Choice?

 Methamphetamine, meth,  has many different street names, for example:

  • Ice 
  • Blue 
  • Crystal 
  • Speed 

Ice is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. However, this drug comes in several forms and is available in many places.  

Although opioids are grabbing the headlines, blue is still a significant issue across the U.S.; Its abundance and low price make it easy to get, so meth is once again becoming popular.  

Law enforcement officials are working to curb the flow of crystal from Mexico. They are also destroying labs increasing in the U.S. As for individuals addicted to meth. There is help to escape this dangerous drug.  

Call us today at (706) 480-8733 if you would like to talk to a professional about getting the treatment you need. We will help you, or anyone that you know, that is suffering from addiction. 

Evolution of Meth 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), crystal was developed initially in the early 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine. However, ice was first used as a nasal decongestant and also in inhalers. Like amphetamine, speed also causes:

  • Increase in energy 
  • Faster talking 
  • A pleasurable sense of well-being
  • A loss of appetite

NIDA also states that meth is an even more potent drug than amphetamine.  

Today, meth comes as:

  • A bitter white powder
  • A white pill
  • Shiny white rocks

According to the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has meth classified as a Schedule II stimulant. In addition, this classification makes it legally available only through a prescribing physician in tiny amounts with no refills. These prescriptions are to treat conditions like attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Any other use or means of obtaining is illegal.  

Moreover, in the beginning, blue was in medical labs for specific medical purposes. Today, production can include many settings, including homes, garages, and trailers. However, according to KTAR News in Phoenix, the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 has reduced domestic avenues of manufacturing. As meth labs are dismantled here, NIDA reports that it could be the largest manufacturers of the drug are cartels in Mexico. NIDA adds that the ice coming from Mexico is exceptionally pure, potent, and remarkably cheap.  

Locations, Deaths, and Crimes 

The United States is still fighting the consistent use of crystal. KTAR News reports that Los Angeles, El Paso, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, St. Louis, Atlanta, and parts of Arizona accounted for three-quarters of meth busts in 2019. The opioid epidemic has accounted for many deaths. However, according to Pinal Central, where Tucson is, the top threat to Arizona is meth.  

In 2019, meth overdose deaths increased by 22 percent. That same year, Maricopa recorded 1,078 overdose deaths with more than 35 percent due to meth, according to community health data from Arizona’s Maricopa County Government.  

Also, along with deaths, this rise in meth use is bringing crime with it. The DEA reports that meth-related arrests in Arizona increased by 20 percent in 2019. Also, they discovered more than 127 percent of the product. It’s hoped that continued diligence at ports of entry in Arizona can help the overall efforts to stem the flow of meth into the U.S.  

The Face of Meth 

A person misusing meth wears their addiction on their face and body. According to NIDA, signs of someone misusing blue include:

  • Weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Sores resulting from picking and scratching 

When a long-term speed user is withdrawing, for instance, symptoms may include: 

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety 
  • Insomnia 
  • Mood changes 
  • Violent behavior
  • Delusions 

In addition, as a parent, sibling, friend, grandparent, or spouse, there is plenty of treatments available if it is time to seek help. However, NIDA states that current effective treatments of meth use disorder include cognitive-behavioral and contingency management interventions. These treatments can alter slightly from program to program. Still, the basics are a combination of: 

  • Behavioral therapy 
  • Family education
  • Individual counseling 
  • 12-step support 
  • Drug testing 
  • Fiding non-drug-related activities

To summarize, recovery is possible for everyone. Contact us today if you would like to start finding help and discover the right treatment option for you.