Methamphetamines, or simply Meth, is a highly addictive and destructive drug that has found its way into society. It destroys the body in a variety of horrific ways, most of which are permanent. It has been refined in its potency over the years, and has since caused an epidemic in America.
First Off, What Is Meth?
As healthvermont.gov outlines, amphetamine (what methamphetamines are derived from) was developed in the late 1880s in Germany, it usage not being stated. The drug found its way to the United States in the 1930s and was used to treat asthma and narcolepsy. It was refined into methamphetamines in 1919 and used as a drug to treat pain and cause a sense of well-being. Back in the United States, amphetamines are refined into an over-the-counter drug called Benzedrine, otherwise known as “Benzos”, to treat nasal congestion coming from colds.
World War II saw methamphetamines take their first massive rise into the human condition. Methamphetamines were used by both Japanese and American forces in the Pacific to keep pilots awake and alert for longer periods of time. The Japanese Kamikaze pilots were given high doses before their suicide missions.
After the war, a methamphetamine epidemic broke out in Japan after the supplies that were going to be used for the military became available to the public at large. From there it spread to the Marshall Islands, Guam and the West Coast of the United States. By the 1950s, methamphetamines had taken a foothold in the U.S. The Benzos were used by people such as athletes and college students in order to stay energized and awake longer. From there it began to become abused within the United States.
Over the years, it has been refined and morphed into the highly addictive, potent and destructive form that it is today. It took the United States a long time to finally recognize it as a destructive substance, and its usage became banned in most cases in the 1970s.
How Meth Is Destroying The Body
Meth is a completely synthetic drug, with no natural ingredients, thus magnifying, and ultimately worsening, its effects upon the human body. Here are some of the ways that meth is causing horrific damage to its users, as outlined on the website PBS.org:
1. Meth causes a rush of dopamine to the brain, causing an intense feeling of pleasure and euphoria that can last for several hours. However, over time, the usage of meth can cause destruction to the dopamine receptors in the brain, reducing the pleasure one feels altogether. This is why users of methamphetamines need more and more meth to keep their habit going, because of their increased tolerance to the drug and the slow destruction of the pleasure centers in their brain; they need more to keep up the good feeling they get. Even if someone quits using meth, the feelings of pleasure they get over the rest of their lives will be lessened, keeping them in a state of pseudo-neutrality, even though the dopamine receptors in the brain can be slightly repaired after the user quits using meth altogether.
2. Meth is usually smoked. It is heated up and turned into smoke. The constant usage of this form of using meth eventually causes the teeth of the user to begin to rot away, impairing their ability to eat and even speak correctly. Tooth grinding, poor diet and an alarming assortment of oral hygiene issues result from this state.
3. The appearance of a meth user becomes more and more obvious as time goes on. Meth decreases the body's ability to repair itself, whilst also constricting blood vessels and causing skin to be less elastic and youthful-looking. As a result, users of meth start to look older and more decrepit as time goes on. Sores, wounds and pimples do not heal as well, if they even heal at all.
4. Meth heightens the libido of its users, leading to promiscuity and lowered standards for sexual partners. This increases the risks that can be associated with unchecked sexual activity, such as the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as Hepatitis B and C. Meth doesn't necessarily acts as an aphrodisiac, but heightens chemicals in the brain associated with sex, making the user feel more desirable. Meth also gives an increased boost to stamina, furthering the users image of themselves as sexually apt. Meth leads to impotence in its users and an inability to climax during sex.
5. Alongside the four aforementioned ways that meth slowly degrades the human body, there are a flurry of other issues that are caused with meth usage, either frequent or sporadic. Such fallout from meth usage includes:
- Increased Heart Rate/Blood Pressure
- A disorganized lifestyle
- Damage to the immune system
- Liver damage
- Raised body temperature, which can lead to brain damage
- Immediate fatality
So, it is obvious here that meth is in no way a recreational drug to be taken lightly. It causes unparalleled damage to the human body, leading to a horrible life and, ultimately, death from the complications it causes.