Methamphetamine, or Crystal Meth, is a powerful stimulant that was a significant problem in the United States at the turn of the century. The drug and the efforts of law enforcement to control its use became a considerable focus for America. Even pop culture grabbed ahold of it, leading to the award-winning television show Breaking Bad, showcasing a dying chemistry teacher’s infamous blue meth.
Most adults in America have a pretty low opinion of methamphetamine. A series of public service announcements painting a very grim picture of the drug and what it does to stimulant addicts left scarring images in peoples’ minds. You have to remember that meth in the early 2000’s was laden with toxic chemicals. The product was made by a crude synthesis of over-the-counter cold medicine and just about any caustic compound available to the chemist.
The effect of meth on users was varied, but the drug was guaranteed to rot one’s teeth away before their eyes and give addicts a jaundiced appearance. Internally, the drug wreaked havoc, damaging a host of organs. Highly addictive, meth users would resort to criminal acts to maintain their habit. In the mid-2000’s, lawmakers pushed for action, and it had the desired effect for a change, mostly.
The Return of The Meth
Thanks to campaigns to educate Americans and reign in methamphetamine use, the prevalence of the drug ebbed. Laws restricting the sale of vital ingredients used in home meth labs made making meth here in America exceedingly more difficult. One could say that meth labs across the country nearly disappeared and methamphetamine use rates declined; however, the drug itself is still a real problem in the U.S., and in some ways, it’s an even bigger problem.
American meth labs all but disappeared, methamphetamine production on the other hand skyrocketed. Cartels south of the border took it upon themselves to fill the market gap created by policing homegrown meth. Today’s meth is produced in “super labs” in Mexico, and the finished product smoked, snorted, and injected in America is around 100 percent pure. The drug once again has reared its ugly head in Florida.
As of December 29, 2017, the Miami-Dade’s crime lab had identified 267 cases of crystal meth, the Miami Herald reports. Total seizures last year were three times more than five years ago, and tests show that the cartels are not “watering down” their product. Users are consistently buying meth that is nearly 100 percent pure.
“With the much stronger meth, there is a higher rate of psychosis and overdoses,” said David Fawcett, a South Florida therapist. “People are getting addicted sooner.”
Stimulant Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamine is incredibly addictive; without help, recovery is difficult to find. At Synergy Group Services, South Florida’s choice for holistic addiction treatment, we can help you or a loved one break the cycle of stimulant addiction. Please contact us today to begin the life-saving journey of recovery.
While talk of cocaine and methamphetamine abuse has been on the decline in recent years, given such abuse is in the shadow the American opioid epidemic, the two drugs are still used frequently by Americans and have the power to destroy lives. Several changes were made in the 2000’s making it a lot more difficult to acquire the pseudoephedrine in the U.S. The drug is used in many allergy medications, but it is also one of the main ingredients in the production of methamphetamine. Naturally, the crackdowns on meth production in America created a golden opportunity for cartels situated just south of the border. The vast majority of meth used in U.S. today, originated in a Mexican superlab.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the market share of cocaine that made its way into American hands was manufactured in Colombia. The drug would then find its way into America by way of Florida After years of international cooperation to take down Colombian cartels, the amount of cocaine from Colombia has steadily dwindled since 2001. However, the cocoa leaf continues to be grown in South America and made into cocaine which requires specific chemicals that could be acquired somewhat easily up until recently.
Both meth and “coke” production are only possible with aid of certain chemicals. So it stands to reason that making it harder to acquire such chemicals would reduce the amount of both drugs manufactured each year. If we continue to follow this line of thinking to its logical end, then we might find that fewer people in the U.S. would be able to use such drugs. All because of restricting the access to chemical(s).
Well, it turns out that keeping the aforementioned chemical precursors did in fact reduce the number of people using methamphetamine and cocaine, UPI reports. Researchers at the University of Arizona found that U.S. restrictions on access to sodium permanganate (used in the production of cocaine) and police action in Mexico against the importation of pseudoephedrine resulted in less people using either drug. The findings were published in the journal Addiction.
“Strategies directed toward individual users — information campaigns and direct medical care, for example — have not yet fully addressed the public health problem of cocaine and methamphetamine misuse,” said Dr. James Cunningham, a social epidemiologist at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. “Additional approaches are needed. Chemical controls are relatively inexpensive. And there’s room to improve them through better international cooperation.”
If you have questions or concerns about cocaine or methamphetamine abuse, please feel free to call us or complete our contact form.