Methamphetamine is a crystalline powder that can be dissolved in alcohol or water and taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. It gives the user a high because it causes the brain to release high levels of dopamine. It is a commonly used illegal drug in our country, and like all illicit drugs, there are many reasons not to start using it.
1. It’s addicting. Many people that use meth quickly become addicted and they begin to want to use more and more of the drug to keep that high feeling. Some meth users become so desperate to have meth that they begin to do things like make their own drugs, or put a loved one in danger in order to support the addiction.
2. Toxicity. Meth has toxic effects on the body and brain, even with short term use. Even after one use, meth changes how the brain functions, and chronic abuse can permanently alter the brain’s ability to learn and remember.
3. Risk of death. High doses of meth can cause convulsions or lethal hypothermia. Heart failure and stroke are also possible side effects from meth abuse.
4. Paranoia and anxiety. Long-term meth use can lead to paranoia, confusion, and insomnia. Anxiety is common and delusions and even hallucinations can occur.
5. Violent behavior. Because of the altered mental state of those that abuse meth, depression and changes in mood are common. Results of this can be violence and thoughts of suicide and homicide.
6. Home meth labs. Home meth labs can often lead to trouble. They can cause exposure to chemicals that result in skin irritation, chemical burns, and damage to the central nervous system. The other problem with home meth labs is the possibility of explosion. Countless stories are told of homes being blown up because of the chemicals used to make homemade meth, putting families and neighbors at risk.
7. Danger to children. People that abuse meth may also end up abusing their children. Some kids may be exposed to chemicals used to make meth or to the drug itself, and other kids may suffer neglect from parents that are high all the time.
8. Fetal exposure to meth. Women that use meth and become pregnant may not be able to stop using during the pregnancy. Babies that are exposed to meth during pregnancy may be subject to premature delivery, congenital deformities, and poor overall health.
9. Withdrawal. The withdrawal from meth is not so much a physical struggle, but rather a mental and emotional one. Patients that stop using meth will go through depression, paranoia, aggression, and an overwhelming craving for the drug. These withdrawal symptoms are serious and can make it very hard for a person to quit the drug.
10. It’s not worth it. Just like other illegal drugs, getting involved with meth causes more trouble than it is worth. Abusing drugs never helps a situation, and many people quickly find themselves addicted and wishing they had never tried it. It’s better to just stay away from it.
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Dangers of Meth
NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/methamphetamine.html
Dangers to Children Living at Meth Labs http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/publications/bulletins/children/pg5.html