Methamphetamine still popular
In the last few years, we’ve heard about a huge problem in our country: meth labs, especially in remote areas in places like Missouri. Residents living in poverty with few income possibilities have turned to making meth as a way to make money, with dire consequences for the rest of the population.
Just when I thought the problem may be abating, I see a December USA Today article that the problem is still going strong in Missouri. In fact, it has been for 12 years. I did a web search for “methamphetamine” and I can’t believe how many sites with recipes for making it come up!
Meth has limited medical uses, according to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA’s webpage for the drug is chock full of information. You can smoke, snort, or inject methamphetamine, or dissolve it in water or alcohol and drink it (although it has a bitter taste), and it produces an intense rush when taken the first three ways I mentioned.
In NIDA’S words:
Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many negative health consequences, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. Chronic methamphetamine abusers can also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects crawling under the skin). Transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C can [also] be consequences of methamphetamine abuse.
Throughout the nation, almost 7,000 meth labs have been seized to date. (Equipment and dump sites are included in that figure.) Luckily, similar to their actions regarding bath salts, states are stepping in and passing legislation to restrict the sale of cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients of homemade meth. I don’t know about your state, but here in NJ you have to ask for certain cold medications because they’ve been moved to behind the counter.