Methamphetamine is the white crystalline powder that produces different stimulating effect depending on the route of administration. Along the streets, methamphetamine is well known for many names such as Meth, speed, ice, chalk, crystal fire, or glass and can be taken orally, smoke, snorted, or injected. Smoking meth creates an intense sensation called “rush” or “flash,” that lasts only for a few minutes. Snorting, swallowing, or injecting the drug creates a very euphoric effect to the brain, but is not that quick though.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and very potent drug that is commonly abused by over 314, 000 teenagers in 2008.Because of its high potency, meth is classified as Scheduled II by the NIDA and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); anyone caught abusing the drug and positive with drug testing is subject to varying penalties.
Teenagers abuse meth for the extremely pleasurable feeling it brings to one. However, while this effect can only last for a few minutes before its metabolites in the body falls down, most teens continuously stay high on meth. The downside is that longer association can cause serve adverse effects especially on the health of youngsters. The following are the major dangers you need to know about meth.
1. Abusing meth creates a quick tolerance. Once you try it, you get hooked to it and as time goes by your body would need larger amounts of meth in order to get high. This instance is one of the most common reasons behind numerous criminal assaults. Because of the need for more drugs, people are actually motivated to kill to obtain money and buy drugs.
2. Chronic meth abuse creates long term negative effect on mental health such as hallucinations, and delusions of parasites crawling on skin. Teenagers in this case become so paranoid to the point that some of the young addicts are sent to mental hospitals for severe mental disorientation.
3. Taking high doses of meth can cause full-blown toxic psychosis wherein teens become more aggressive and violent, however; unaware of how cruel it can be to the point that they hurt their own parents and sibling without even realizing it.
4. Meth can also cause extreme weight loss because of loss of appetite as well as severe dental problem known as “Meth Mouth.” American dental association defines meth mouth as an informal name for advance tooth decay because of bruxism, poor hygiene, and hyposalivation as results of meth abuse.
5. According to NIDA, meth is responsible for the most of the HIV cases among teens as it also arouse sexual orgasms which lead to risky sexual behaviors. Meth is also found to be positive among rape suspects on notorious rape cases, children abuse, and sexual assaults. For instance, just in 2004, the State of California has held 182 suspects who are held liable for criminal conduct because of meth.
6. Meth is also responsible for the transmission of hepatitis A and B, which is common to gangsters or group of individuals abusing meth together. This can happen when there is only one syringe is shared for the whole group.
7. Drug driving is one of the known causes that lead to unexpected road accidents among teens. According to records, meth is one of the drugs present in teen’s body during drug testing. Because of the intense sensation it brings to one, it tends t impair the senses of the driver causing to over speed on the road without even realizing it.
8. Meth can cause cardiovascular problems such as increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, inflamed heart, and hyperthermia. Despite being a healthy person, you can always get sick because of meth abuse.
9. Long term association with meth can lead to stroke and worst death because of the sudden rise of body temperature and convulsion. According to According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network, meth related death from 1993 to 1997 accounted to 125 and is currently increasing at present.
10. Abusing meth causes infertility but for pregnant women, meth abuse can actually lead to miscarriage. Most of the babies born prematurely experience lethargy and neurological complications.
How to Determine if the Person is Abusing Methamphetamine
There are many ways to determine if a person is abusing meth. Physical manifestation of meth abuse includes incessant talking when the person used to be silent, rapid eye movement, increased body temperature which can be as high as 108 degrees, dilated pupils and extreme sweating despite not getting into too much physical activity. In most times, we usually stay away from people in this condition, however; these physical symptoms cannot be the solid evidences that a person is abusing meth. To assess accurate and reliable judgment, the government has implemented a random drug testing in schools and the workplace.
Drug testing on meth uses methamphetamine drug test kits in order to assess the body with the amphetamine metabolites. Following the new federal cut off levels, a urine sample showing 500 ng/ml of amphetamine metabolite during the initial test is confirmed through GC test. Confirmatory test should then show at least 250 ng/ml of meth metabolite before a person is considered positive. Meth abuse can also be justified through hair follicle test and saliva swab test. Using the methamphetamine test kits, drug testing on meth can already be done at home while till adhering to the new federal cut off guideline. For hair follicle test, the cut off level is 300 ng/ml while saliva swab test should at least be 50 ng/ml.