Some hospital workers refer to them as the ‘meth monsters’. They are the meth fueled patients that nurses and doctors at St Vincent’s Hospital are seeing on a regular basis, about six to ten a week.
Workers have gotten used to their erratic behaviors. Some will resist and violently thrash around like wild animals. Often, it will take several doctors and nurses, along with the help of security guards, just to hold these patients down long enough to administer tranquillizers.
Much like cocaine, users under the influence often display an extreme amount of strength. And it doesn’t take much of the drug to fuel this type of behavior either. With crystal meth being such a potent drug, as little as 40 or 50 dollars’ worth can cause a user to completely lose their ability to control themselves.
“It’s horrible to watch,” said St. Vincent’s head of emergency services Gordian Fulde. And figures show that crystal meth use is growing. “It’s one of the most addictive drugs on the street at the moment,” said Fulde. According to research from Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the use of amphetamines like crystal meth in the Sydney local government area has increased by over 21% in the last year.
Crystal meth has a reputation of being able to grab a hold of someone so fast and destroy their life at a rapid rate. It doesn’t take long for the user to begin experiencing the negative impacts of the drug. After just months of using, the person will begin suffering serious mental health problems caused by brain deterioration. This has been shown by brain scans of users after various lengths of actively using the drug.
It’s disturbing to realize the impact meth has on young people who have so much potential life ahead of them. According to Professor Fulde, of the cases seen, the average age of the users is between 25 to 35 years old. “These people who take crystal meth become dissociated from society,” said Fulde. “They become homeless. They drift towards the Cross where the drugs are and where the drug support organizations are.”
According to Fulde, the hospital is seeing a steady flow of people under the influence of meth on a weekly basis. He says the number has held steady at 6 – 10 a week and doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. Unlike other drugs, with crystal meth, there really is no way to bring someone down from a psychotic episode and tranquillizers seem to be the only way to combat the extreme behaviors. “We have had people going absolutely berserk and psychotic,” said Fulde. “They will bash themselves against a wall to hurt themselves. They will scratch themselves because they see animals beneath their skin.”The hospital’s last fiscal year showed that for the first time ever, the number of admissions for amphetamine abuse outnumbered those for alcohol addiction.
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Original Article: dailytelegraph.com
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