Meth: How Dangerous Is It?

Meth, also known as crystal meth or speed, has been around for many years, but is growing in popularity in recent years. Some experts believe that at current tends, meth could pass marijuana as the most used drug. Meth is labeled as one of the more dangerous drugs available due to how easily people become addicted. With just a few uses, the user develops a powerful addiction that can be incredibly difficult to overcome.

Meth: Is It Popular?

Meth is growing in popularity due to the fact that compared to cocaine, it is relatively inexpensive. This has earned it the nickname “poor man’s cocaine”. Perhaps one of the most shocking facts about meth is who is using the drug. Typically, whether correct or not, we tend to picture drug users as either young people or abusers who begin with alcohol and move on to more potent, illicit drugs. With meth, the numbers of outwardly normal suburban families, especially suburban housewives, is staggering. Many women use meth as a weight loss aide. Its effects are similar to appetite suppressants. In fact, before the drug was banned in the 1980’s, it was actually prescribed to individuals to help gain control of their bad eating habits and weight issues. Meth users also include seemingly bright, intelligent college students. It has been found that no longer are meth users your typical “druggies”.

Meth: How It Affects Users.

There are several routes that are used to get high on meth. When the drug is smoked or injected, it produces an instantaneous high or pleasure commonly known as “flash” or “rush”. Meth works to increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a natural hormone produced by the body that acts as a stimulant to brain cells, which enhances an individual’s mood or other sensations.

Some of the effects caused by meth at low doses may include:

  • symptoms of poor sleep quality
  • an increase of energy, or physical activity
  • decrease in a person’s appetite and practically diminishing feelings of hunger
  • myriad of heart problems such as dysrythmia, elevated heart rates (tachycardia), and increased blood pressure

Other effects can cause problems with the nervous system affecting mood and mental function. Long-term use can cause major brain damage.

Meth: Teens And Parents

Parents can help their teens avoid the addiction to meth and other harmful substances by first recognizing the reality that their teen will likely be, or has already, been exposed to illicit drugs. According to recent studies, many are first exposed as early as twelve years old. Parents can help educate their youth about the dangers of drugs in general and meth specifically. Parents can explain how addictive the drug is and that with even just one use, they can get hooked and experience a life of misery. Parents need to set rules and guidelines and then be consistent following through with consequences for certain behaviors.