The Meth Problem in the United States – keep healthy

The Meth Problem in the United States

  • Author Laszeros Chandlerson
  • Published March 5, 2012
  • Word count 509

Addiction to methamphetamines has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and it afflicts people from every walk of life. One of the most addictive drugs currently distributed, people often view meth similarly to crack cocaine, morphine, and heroin in terms of its danger and the legal consequences of its use. However, meth differs from these drugs in that it brings about astonishingly rapid physical deterioration. In particularly severe cases, users have shown signs of twenty-five years’ worth of aging after only months of meth abuse. Because of these incredible dangers, understanding meth abuse is critical for the people of the United States to develop better treatment programs for its addicts.

Meth is far from an exclusively American problem; it is one of the most abused drugs in the world, second only to marijuana. Not only does this widespread addiction ravish its sufferers, it facilitates an immense amount of violent, drug-related criminal activity. A United Nations study found that in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and other parts of the North-Central United States, there are prisons in which eighty to ninety percent of inmates are serving time for meth-related charges.

The same study found that hospitals across the United States attributed over eight percent of all 2009 emergency room visits to the use of methamphetamines. Similarly disturbing is the fact that out of all of those meth users who obtained urgent care, only a small portion received further treatment for addiction. This is troubling news, given that the effects and risks of methamphetamines include the following:

*Meth use leads to a loss of bone mass in the jaw, as well as rapid degradation of teeth, gums, and fingernails. Such rapid loss of bone causes the sunken jaw to drag a meth user’s facial skin downward, resulting in severe and permanent facial disfiguration.

*Methamphetamines depress the central nervous system and put users at immense risk of stroke, seizure, cardiac arrest and deadly pulmonary conditions.

*Since meth is usually created in sinks, bathtubs, and other makeshift vessels, dosages are next to impossible to gauge. Overdoses are extremely frequent among meth users.

*Meth severely alters users’ mental states, making them much more likely to commit violent acts against others and themselves.

*Conviction for the possession or distribution of methamphetamines results in lengthy prison sentences, but most prisons do not have treatment programs for meth addicts. Prisoners serving time for meth are extremely likely to return to the drug once released. Not only does this situation put the prisoners themselves at risk, it harms society by wasting taxpayers’ money on non-rehabilitative prison stays, and by allowing the plague of addiction to linger.

Because every human has the same dependency-prone brain chemistry, meth addiction can happen to anyone. Though the stereotype of a meth user is a poor, uneducated person, people from every level of society have fallen victim to its abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with methamphetamines, call the number at the top of your screen for a toll-free consultation. There is no time to waste with meth, so get help immediately.