Methamphetamine commonly referred as meth or crystal has been a real and growing problem in the United States. Many of us don’t realize that meth is the most addictive drug worldwide. The main ingredients of meth, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, are found in cold medicine. Relatively cheap and easy to get methamphetamine destructively affect your brain. It releases dopamine (the brain’s principal pleasure chemical) which boost up your energy, and as describe by many addicts in the movie:” it gives you a euphoric rush…and it’s a good feeling” (Woman in trailer).
Meth can be obtained from household products, this dangerous process is called shake and bake since it consists of mixing ingredient that were never meant to be mix. The use of such drug affect your physical appearance and ruin your life whether on a personal or social level. The reason is after several hit the consummation of meth is the only activity that bring you joy out life. The effect are so devastative that an addict suggest that it should be wipe off the surface of earth. The methamphetamine epidemic started in Portland Oregon and its spreading to the West Coast of America.
Surprisingly the people being affected by the drug are often college students, truck drivers and bikers. Researches have shown that it became an extended issue in the 1990’s. The meth epidemic represents a social issue because it is the leading cause in property crimes, children in foster care, sexual abuse, domestic violence and identity theft…. Effects of meth epidemic on social institutions The destructive effects of meth epidemic on family are undeniable. The harm caused by methamphetamine is so deep that an addict stated: “In all reality, I think they need to take a bomb and blow it all up”.
It is painful to see the life and joy being eat out of a community. The story of Debbie Vick illustrates child endangerment. In fact children are sent to foster care in large number because of addicted parents unable to take care of their kids. High and under the effect of the stimulant, it is not uncommon for family members to be sexually abused by meth addicts. Unfortunately meth doesn’t only affect the users’ mental but it also significantly deteriorate their physical appearance.
Deputy Bret King reported that a fairly appealing young woman, Theresa Baxter, looked 20 years older than she actually was and her teeth went missing. While methamphetamine only brings desolation among civilian what is being done to stop the spreading of this epidemic. The government has in some way aggravated the meth situation by its procedure. Although we can see that the police is very active at tracking down meth labs and meth addict more actions can and need to be taking toward resolving this issue. Quaalude showed us that if the proper measures are taken meth can be definitively eradicated.
Initiatively a bill required for distributors of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to verify the identities of their customers in order to control the consumers of those ingredients. The government ultimately finds opposition in the pharmaceutical industry because the bill was economically at their disadvantage. How can a sick soul find remedy if it cannot recognize that it needs treatment!!! It is the same for politics. As far as they are concerned meth is not an epidemic. Methamphetamine represented such low priority for them that no funds were going toward monitoring the key ingredients of meth shoppers.
Dealing with heroin, cocaine or gangs was considerably more important although legislators in Oregon resurrected the idea that buyers of products with pseudoephedrine register at the store counter. Congress is completely aware that to terminate this problem they have to get to the roots which are companies providing key ingredients of meth. In order to address the issue Congress is considering the Combat Meth Act that will put pseudoephedrine under lock in store nationwide. However passing the Combat Meth Act promise to be more difficult than they thought.
The cold medicine factories is estimated to be approximately a 3 billion money maker in the United States. Why would the pharmaceutical companies put their profit at risk by allowing the key ingredient of meth to be strictly regulated? In a market system where the rule of the game is to make money they will do anything necessary to stop any bill that will in some way affect negatively their industries. The fact that they made sure the bill was amended to exempt cold medicine clearly illustrates how they remain indifferent to the devastative effects of meth in the lives of so many Americans.
Technology was at the base of detecting methamphetamine as a social issue. The advances in technology allowed us to explain the effects of meth in the human brain as it releases a huge amount dopamine. Researchers have shown that by putting the stimulant over and over in your brain it results in an inability to experience pleasure in your own, this is one of the main reasons addicts get back to using. What is the role of the media in this situation? Is he keeping us in the dark and not informing about what is happening? The Oregonians are well informed about meth sweeping across America and their own community.
The media in Oregon Portland is doing a good job at exposing the issue to them. The impact of meth on the people of Oregon made the top actualities on Oregon new reported the narrator. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the rest of the country. People being interviewed for example In D. C would often say:” Methamphetamine? I don’t know what it is (Rep. Brian Baird). While the epidemic was spreading politicians closed their eyes on the issue and population of affected states remained ignorant of the danger. The film depicts two faces of medicine regarding meth epidemic.
On one side are the pharmaceutical companies that refuses to collaborate with the DEA toward finding a solution to the problem. We have seen that although the Meth Epidemic Act was put in place to control the purchase of the key ingredient in meth, pharmacist would compromised themselves and sell the ingredient in quantity. As the movie mentioned it the rule of the game is to make money and sell products. However we cannot overlook the good side of medicine. In Oregon innovative treatment programs helps the addicts trough the phase of detoxification.
Certain centers often allow addicts to keep their child because they believe that the presence of a family member would motivate patients to get clean. Consider that most of the patients being treated for burns due to hazardous experiences in meth lab had no insurances it represented a deficit for the hospitals. Reflection I really enjoyed watching the Meth Epidemic film. In some way I feel like I am more informed and conscious about what is really going on in the world around me. In complete honesty I was not aware that such drug even existed.
The movie clearly defined methamphetamine as far the most addictive drug in the United States and it is frightening to realize its destructive effects in the lives of countless families. Meth has become a personal concern when I learned that those being affected are mainly college students, truck drivers and athletes. As a student I cannot close my eyes on the fact that meth has been the cause of so many bright youth wasted in this decade. Meth is considered as a social and economic problem. This stimulant has accumulated over one and half millions addicts over the past years.
The desolating part of it is that meth is so easy and cheap to get. In reality it has been show that most people will get the ingredient from their household products and cook it by the process commonly referred as “shake and bake”. Under the effect of such destructive drug, meth addicts turn violent and become unstable. The film discussed in depth the many issues that come along with this addiction. As far as family is concerned, meth is the leading cause for children in foster care and sexual abuse. However it doesn’t stop there property crimes and identity theft also represent other way for them to feed their addictions.
I think the harm caused by the addicted parents can never be erased of the minds of those traumatized children. It is very likely for those meth orphans to lose themselves in the process. In my opinion the foster care system can’t really assure them the chance to a good future or a safe and loving home. In addition to that insecurity could be one of the consequence of property crimes or sexual abuse. This movie truly opened my eyes and the most shocking part was the insensitivity of the Pharmaceutical Companies. It is disturbing that money drives our actions and takes away any bit of humanity we could have left in ourselves!!!
Pharmaceutical companies and politics play a very important role in this problem. Indeed the key ingredient for meth (ephedrine or pseudoephedrine) is found in cold medicine. While these companies are opposing to the strict regulation of these ingredients communities and families are suffering from the loved ones addicted to this drug. My personal experiences have thought me that people often resort to drugs when they are going through depression, stress or loneliness. Family support would help them look the other way and find reasonable solutions to their problem.
Desperate diseases require desperate remedies. Thereupon the government should ensure that only customers with a prescription (signed by a certified physician) have access to medicine with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Meth can ruined someone’s life in a blink of an eye, a little inconvenience for people with cold is a small step to prevent meth epidemic. Meth also enters the country by the intermediary of drugs cartels in Mexico, The supervision at the border needs to be reinforced in order to stop their traditional smuggling. I believe that politic plays a crucial role in stopping the epidemic.
However the politicians, as leaders, have to admit that meth is a major problem. Congress needs to cooperate with the DEA instead of making so difficult for them to their jobs. They should put back the regulation requiring a license to pseudoephedrine pills. They should fund the DEA in effort of tracking down meth dealers. It is clear that cold medicines bring a lot of profits for pharmaceutical companies. One of the argument presented by their spokesman is the availability of the ingredient for the American customer or the inconvenience for those with cold.
I would suggest for them to research an alternative for ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. This way pharmaceuticals industries would still make money selling cold medicines, the DEA would have a peace of mind when it comes to dealing with meth and finally the American public would still have their cold reliever. People rely on the media for information about specific details of the happenings around them. The Oregonian newspaper set a good example of should be done. The media needs to insert the reality of meth in our daily lives so we can be aware of its danger.
Meth epidemic need to make the headlines of our news nationwide for us to understand the urge to take action and stop the spread of the epidemic. Portland Oregon is not the only are area being affected by the meth epidemic. The statistics demonstrate that it is spreading to the east coast. More rehabilitation center is needed across the country to support the meth addicts. The pharmaceutical industries should collaborate with the DEA for the well-being of our society especially for the protection of our youth.