Meth is destroying communities - page 3

I am originally from a small town in southern West Virginia. I have lived away from the area for about 8 years now, but I continue to go back 3-4 times a year to visit family and friends. I have... Read More

  1. by   mtnmom
    To interject my 2 cents worth into the pot legalization debate....

    I have never known of a stoned person beating up their spouse, kids, etc., or being belligerent in the ER, or leading police on a high-speed chase (unless, of course, the weed was laced with something). Can you say that about alcohol? Likewise, I have never known a person to forego food in favor of marijuana, yet we can't say that about alcohol.
  2. by   WillowBrook
    I cam give you some insight into this drug from a former users point of view. I took Meth for a few years before I turned to Heroin and became addicted to that. Meth is the ultimate gateway drug into Heroin, nearly everyone I knew (including myself although other factors played a role) eventually ended up using Heroin in order to cope with the agitation, paranoia and depression that frequent Meth use can induce.

    The trouble with Meth is that it is very very easy to start taking it everday. It's not like normal powder speed, which you might take a couple of nights a week but then feel really grungy and strung out so you don't really want to do it that often. On Meth you just feel fantastic, boundless energy, confidence, you feel as if you can do anything and the world is your oyster and you feel nice and clean, no grunginess, no shakes or jitters, no restless movements...nothing you associate with other forms of speed. This is where things get dicey with this drug, it makes you feel so good without the usual speed drawbacks that it is very easy to find yourself going "hmm I'm a bit tired today, I'll have some Meth, "Gee I've got to get through this work, I'll take some Meth", "I need to be confident and focused for this job interview, better have some Meth" and so on. Of course with repeated use eventually you do start to feel anxious, paranoid, jittery, depressed etc all the negative effects that you were originally trying to avoid, but by then (as was explained in other posts regarding effect on brain chemistry and depression) it is very hard to stop taking the drug because you just don't function mentally well without it and that's when a lot of people will start mixing Heroin with Meth to try and deal with this scenario. I know that if I hadn't started taking Heroin I would have ended up being seriously addicted to Meth and stuffed my life up on that instead.

    If anyone has any questions I would be happy to try and answer them as best I can, even questions on Drug Addiction in general or other Drugs of Addiction such as Heroin. I will answer everything to the best of my knowledge and experience.

    And please remember.....Drugs do NOT discriminate, only people do.
  3. by   mercyteapot
    I just watched an A&E documentary about crank and a small town in Iowa last night. I am sure it is also a problem where I live and just not as visible. They say some people become addicted with their very first hit. Something I was wondering about that show is one of the couples that was profiled had children and the mother was talking about how she would never treat her children the way she does if it wasn't for the drugs. Isn't that an open announcement to CPS to come take her kids?
  4. by   jenni82104
    I have never known of a stoned person beating up their spouse, kids, etc., or being belligerent in the ER, or leading police on a high-speed chase (unless, of course, the weed was laced with something). Can you say that about alcohol? Likewise, I have never known a person to forego food in favor of marijuana, yet we can't say that about alcohol.


    I agree.
  5. by   loriannlpn
    Quote from WVUturtle514
    I guess I'm just one of those people who doesn't understand addictions very well. From everything I've heard, a lot of people can get addicted to meth after one use. I just don't understand how that's possible. Especially when they can look around and see the destruction it is causing other friends and families. Is it just that good of a high?
    Hello all,
    I just last night viewed a program on TLC. The experts are saying that Crank ( meth) is so addictive because of its chemical make up. Meth effects the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin directly related to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
    Also, effects are r/t the interaction between the amphetamine structure and the human physiology of adrenaline. The physical effects of this drug is hyperexcitability, nervousness, tachycardia, paranoia, euphoria, sweating, restlessness, insomina, and tooth grinding.
    Addicts that were interviewed reported that when they start to do somthing, they can not quit. They frequently take appart electronics like Televisions, cell phones, and toasters. They will continue to try to put these items back together, but can not.
    Sexual interactions are also a big concern with these addicts. They feel euphoria. Once they start having sex, they can not quit. The report suggested that it was like having OCD.
    I am not an expert on drug abuse or use. However, I feel that our young people are not using gateway drugs as we were taught. I think that they are going straight for the speed.
    There is also a televison show on A&E called Intervention. They have shown all sorts of professionals, soccer mothers, and others that are addictive and have no clue of the events of everyday life. This drug sweeps them and has a grip before they have any idea that it has.

    I just wanted to add that information to this thread.
    have a blessed day,
  6. by   Dorito
    Quote from WVUturtle514
    Here is another site that has some pictures of meth users over time. If this drug can affect your outside appearance this drastically, I can only imagine what it's doing to the inside of your body.

    http://www.methmadness.com/facesofmeth.html
    Those pictures were awful! I think they should put them on television comercials to let more of the public know what a devestating drug this is. I have never dealt with anyone on Meth but I have a cousin that I've heard may be involved. She was always a beautiful girl and I've heard now has lost a ton of weight and has terrible teeth. (Meth mouth) Does anyone know what causes the sores and the changes in their teeth? I'm just lucky that we have a low incidence in WI. I'm sure that will change....Thanks for any info.
  7. by   WVUturtle514
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I just watched an A&E documentary about crank and a small town in Iowa last night. I am sure it is also a problem where I live and just not as visible. They say some people become addicted with their very first hit.
    I watched this show last night too. It showed some statistics at the end of the show and I believe it said that 90% of users will become addicted after their first time trying meth. It also said that meth has one of the worst rehab rates, only 6% of meth users will eventually become clean and sober.


    Of course with repeated use eventually you do start to feel anxious, paranoid, jittery, depressed etc all the negative effects that you were originally trying to avoid, but by then (as was explained in other posts regarding effect on brain chemistry and depression) it is very hard to stop taking the drug because you just don't function mentally well without it and that's when a lot of people will start mixing Heroin with Meth to try and deal with this scenario.
    The physician on the show last night said that after doing MRI's on patients who were meth users, they're brain tissue was almost identical to that of a paranoid schizophrenic patients. I used to work in the ER in a large level 1 trauma center and I have seen the havoc that schizophrenia has wreaked on many patients lives (most of them are homeless and criminal). I can't imagine a person doing this to themselves.

    On another similar topic though.....how do you guys feel about needle exchange programs for meth users? Do you feel that it should be offered in order to decrease risk of infectious disease among meth users or do you feel that it in a way contributes to increased use of meth?
  8. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from WVUturtle514
    I watched this show last night too. It showed some statistics at the end of the show and I believe it said that 90% of users will become addicted after their first time trying meth. It also said that meth has one of the worst rehab rates, only 6% of meth users will eventually become clean and sober.




    The physician on the show last night said that after doing MRI's on patients who were meth users, they're brain tissue was almost identical to that of a paranoid schizophrenic patients. I used to work in the ER in a large level 1 trauma center and I have seen the havoc that schizophrenia has wreaked on many patients lives (most of them are homeless and criminal). I can't imagine a person doing this to themselves.

    On another similar topic though.....how do you guys feel about needle exchange programs for meth users? Do you feel that it should be offered in order to decrease risk of infectious disease among meth users or do you feel that it in a way contributes to increased use of meth?
    I think the statistic that 90% of users are addicted with their first hit belies any claim that needle exchange programs encourage drug use. These people would poke themselves in the eye with a rusty nail if that's what it took to get their hit. I am in favor of exchange programs.
  9. by   WillowBrook
    The idea of people becoming addicted to Meth after just one hit is as much of a fallacy as saying that you are addicted to Heroin after the first shot. It just doesn't work that way. It's not that you are addicted after one shot, it's that the drug feels so good and so clean at first (without the usual grunginess of other types of speed) that it becomes very easy to start taking it for any and all reasons (see my previous post in this thread regarding Meth use).

    As for the issue of needle exchanges possibly encouraging drug use and marijuana being a gateway drug, emphatically no on both accounts.

    In South Australia, where I live, we have an excellent needle exchange program which is run through the Aids Council, Drug Rehab Centres and participating chemists. Due to the effectiveness of the needle exchange program South Australia has one of the lowest rates of Hep C and HIV transmission amongst injecting drug users in the southern hemisphere and possibly the world (don't quote me on that last part I would need to double check that). As a former IV Meth user, IV heroin addict and general drug abuser of at least 10 years I can firmly say that not once, in all the time I was using needles, out of all the people I came into contact with, did anyone ever use a needle or a needle exchange who wasn't already well established with their IV drug use. Nobody ever went to a Needle Exchange to get their first set of works to shoot up with. At one exchange in particular, which is run by current and former IV drug users, as well as having a nurse on call if needed, when you go in to get clean syringes you are also given the opportunity to talk about your drug use, educated about the dangers of injecting, taught ways to make injecting cleaner and safer, encouraged to try other methods of taking Drugs (eg orally or intranasally) and referred onto treatment programs if need be, all without the feeling of being judged or made to think that you somehow deserve less respect because you are an IV drug user. It is this non judgemental attitude that has lead a lot of people, who otherwise wouldn't neccessarily have chosen to, to give treatment programs and rehab a go. I know a fair few people who were encouraged and lead into treatment for Drug Addiction via a Needle Exchange Program.
  10. by   loriannlpn
    Quote from WillowBrook
    The idea of people becoming addicted to Meth after just one hit is as much of a fallacy as saying that you are addicted to Heroin after the first shot. It just doesn't work that way. It's not that you are addicted after one shot, it's that the drug feels so good and so clean at first (without the usual grunginess of other types of speed) that it becomes very easy to start taking it for any and all reasons (see my previous post in this thread regarding Meth use).

    As for the issue of needle exchanges possibly encouraging drug use and marijuana being a gateway drug, emphatically no on both accounts.

    In South Australia, where I live, we have an excellent needle exchange program which is run through the Aids Council, Drug Rehab Centres and participating chemists. Due to the effectiveness of the needle exchange program South Australia has one of the lowest rates of Hep C and HIV transmission amongst injecting drug users in the southern hemisphere and possibly the world (don't quote me on that last part I would need to double check that). As a former IV Meth user, IV heroin addict and general drug abuser of at least 10 years I can firmly say that not once, in all the time I was using needles, out of all the people I came into contact with, did anyone ever use a needle or a needle exchange who wasn't already well established with their IV drug use. Nobody ever went to a Needle Exchange to get their first set of works to shoot up with. At one exchange in particular, which is run by current and former IV drug users, as well as having a nurse on call if needed, when you go in to get clean syringes you are also given the opportunity to talk about your drug use, educated about the dangers of injecting, taught ways to make injecting cleaner and safer, encouraged to try other methods of taking Drugs (eg orally or intranasally) and referred onto treatment programs if need be, all without the feeling of being judged or made to think that you somehow deserve less respect because you are an IV drug user. It is this non judgemental attitude that has lead a lot of people, who otherwise wouldn't neccessarily have chosen to, to give treatment programs and rehab a go. I know a fair few people who were encouraged and lead into treatment for Drug Addiction via a Needle Exchange Program.



    I am sure that there is not a physical addition after the first "hit" , however, if this drug directly effects the physiology of the human brain including neurotransmitters that effect the sympathetic nervous system, one would have to wonder what is the mental adddition. People get addicted to the "speed " and the euphoria. I beleive that this leads to the physical addicition. Like I have mentioned in my previous thread, I am not a expert, however, I understand that people are choosing this drug over a life.

    My stance on needle exchange programs is if it protects one person from contracting bloodborne infections it has served.

    Education is a very important aspect of the medical field. I am all for educating and offering help for those who are addicted eventhough it may fall on deaf ears.

    thanks,
    Have a blessed day
  11. by   mtnmom
    Quote from Dorito
    Does anyone know what causes the sores and the changes in their teeth?
    A lot of it is due to their compromised nutritional status...they can go for days without eating or sleeping when on a meth binge.

    Also, chronic meth users pick at their skin compulsively. I recall one woman that came into our rural ER who, besides having sores all over her body, believed that there were glass shards in her feet. Never mind that she was barefooted on arrival - she was completely delusional as to there being foreign bodies in her skin.
  12. by   all4schwa
    the meth madness website that was posted was amazing. besides the 'faces of meth' pictures it talks about the 'meth mouth' and its causes and the sores that users get.
  13. by   WVUturtle514
    Quote from mtnmom
    I recall one woman that came into our rural ER who, besides having sores all over her body, believed that there were glass shards in her feet. Never mind that she was barefooted on arrival - she was completely delusional as to there being foreign bodies in her skin.
    This goes back to the fact that meth users brains are very similar to the brains of paranoid schizophrenics.


    Willow,

    Perhaps you can enlighten some of us as to the thought processes of meth users. Especially those that manufacture the meth in their homes. As they are making this concoction do they not look at the ingredients that are going into it and think, "Hmmm.....I don't know if this is such a good thing for me to be putting in my body." Or is the need for a high so great that it completely overcomes all rational thought a person might have? Also, do you believe it's more of a physical addiction or a mental addiction, or a combination of both?

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