History of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine that has recently evolved due to advanced production techniques. While some people take it by smoking, injecting with needles, or inhaling through the nose, others take it orally thus developing heavy dependence. Addicts seek to continue using it due to “desired” effects that may last from several hours up to one day. The drug generates energy, hyperactivity, a false sense of well-being, and decreases appetite. When a person first uses crystal meth, he/she may derive pleasure. Unfortunately, individuals disregard the fact that even one-time consumption can cause dependency, destroy life, and, ultimately, lead to death. The current paper seeks to explore the history of crystal meth, discuss its origin, analyze its effects, and addiction in people, who take it on a regular basis.
Inhaling and smoking crystal meth can immediately produce positive emotions, feelings, and leave one with a craving to take it again despite severe and irreversible consequences. Nowadays, people regard any drug as a formidable foe. However, they may surprise that crystal meth emerges as a result of laboratory practices, and physicians often prescribe its ingredients to treat various health issues in patients. The U.S. Department of Justice points out to the wide availability of crystal methamphetamine in the distant 1960s (Iversen, 2008). At that time, clinicians often used drug-containing medications to deal with nasal congestion, obesity, depression, daytime sleepiness, as well as combat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. From the medical perspective, many patients have benefitted from this drug. Unfortunately, some individuals start purchasing and abusing it for recreational purpose. The U.S. Department of Justice declares that changes in the regulation of narcotic substances in the distant 1970s significantly decreased their use (Iversen, 2008).
Nowadays, crystal methamphetamine, as well as cocaine and other powerful drugs, is illegal. People of all ages can use it without considering the consequences. Crystal meth is a potent and dangerous chemical and, as other prohibited substances, it poisons consumers acting like a stimulant that starts destroying their bodies since the first day of its consumption. In fact, regular use of this drug leads to severe health conditions. Individuals may lose memory, develop psychotic behavior, and experience aggression. It also significantly damages brain cells and heart. Addiction to crystal meth burns up inner resources and generates destructive dependence. Therefore, people are forced to take more and more drugs. Effects of crystal meth are highly concentrated, and, therefore, many people report on the development of addiction from the first day of its use (Buxton & Dove, 2008). The drug resembles ice and comes in a form of a compressed pill or white powder, but other colors such as gray, pink, brown, and orange may also be present. Users dissolve crystal methamphetamine in alcoholic drinks or water.
While amphetamine emerged in Germany in 1887, Japanese chemists developed the more potent drug methamphetamine in 1919 (Haley, Golden, & Peterson, 2009). The solubility of crystalline powder in water enables individuals to use it for injection. The history of crystal methamphetamine dates back to World War II, where it was widely used to keep armed forces of both sides awake, suppress appetite, and diminish fatigue (Lee, 2006). Japanese pilots got high doses of this drug before committing deadly flights. After the end of the war, consumers started to take meth tablets regularly describing them as work pills. Moreover, methamphetamine abuse became epidemic as the public got an uninterrupted access to military supplies. According to Braswell (2006), in the 1950s, clinicians prescribed methamphetamine to combat depression and diet-related issues. Athletes, drivers, and students widely used crystal meth as a non-medical stimulant, thus, developing the abuse of this drug at an alarming rate. In the 1960s, availability of injectable methamphetamine significantly changed the trend and worsened the situation (Braswell, 2006). At that time, the abuse of such dangerous drug as crystal meth started to create significant health threats to individuals. During that period, concerned people developed the drug prevention slogan “speed kills” aimed at urging addicts to quit bad habits. In 1970, concerns about the high rate of crystal meth use forced the American authorities to develop drug control legislation designed to make crystal meth illegal. Moreover, the Controlled Substances Act drastically reduced the medical usage of methamphetamine and its large-scale abuse (Braswell, 2006).
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Despite illegal status of drugs, American gangs started to control the distribution and production of crystal meth in the middle of the 20th century. At that time, the majority of consumers living in the rural areas could not afford to buy expensive cocaine, and, therefore, they often turned to the street drug dealers. In the nineties, Mexican drug traffickers established massive laboratories on the west coast of the USA, where they could produce a significant amount of narcotic substances in the shortest possible terms (Tilstone, Savage, & Clark, 2006). In the early 1980s, the drug use issue posed a great challenge to some Californian cities as suppliers and manufacturers headquartered there. Small private laboratories were located in apartments and kitchens. In the course of time, this illegal activity spread across the USA and the European continent.
The consumption of this stimulant drug along with other narcotic substances boosts its potency. Tablets for the treatment of colds are often used for manufacturing crystal meth. To produce a drug, manufacturers extract necessary ingredients from those pills and combine the substance with various chemicals that significantly enhance its potency. These chemicals are explosive, and, as the manufacturers also take drugs, their disorientation may lead to severe burns, explosions of preparations, disfiguration, and death (Lee, 2006). These dangerous accidents endanger people living in nearby houses. The illegal activity of chemical laboratories produces a significant amount of toxic waste. It has been estimated that one pound of crystal methamphetamine generates five pounds of waste (Iversen, 2008). Individuals who are exposed to this unsafe material can become sick and poisoned.