Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Methamphetamine Awareness

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine abuse has become a tremendous challenge for the entire nation. It is essential to intensify education, prevention and intervention – especially in our nation's schools – on the destructive effects of meth on the user and the community.

As a highly addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system, methamphetamine is profoundly dangerous. Meth comes in powder, crystal, rock and tablet form and its crystal form is called "crystal meth." It can be swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected with a hypodermic needle.

Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin are derived from plants but meth is manufactured through store bought chemicals. Very crude laboratories often "cook" meth but there are also super labs aside from small toxic labs.

Meth Affects on the User
In the long term, a person using meth may experience irritability, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, sleeplessness, confusion, aggressive feelings, violent rages, cravings for more meth, and depression. They may become psychotic and experience paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions. The paranoia may lead to homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

A fairly common hallucination experienced by meth users is the so-called crank bug. The user gets the sensation that there are insects creeping on top of, or underneath, his/her skin. The user will pick at or scratch the skin trying to get rid of these imaginary bugs. This scratching can create open sores that may become infected.

Societal Impact
Parents high on meth often neglect their children whom are often severely impacted with mental, physical and emotional consequences. Youth who abuse methamphetamine open the door to serious emotional, mental, physical and criminal consequences.

Read more about Meth Awareness from the U.S. Department of Justice

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