The Meth Epidemic Essay
The Meth Epidemic
Methamphetamine is the most addictive drug used today. It appeals to people of all ages, and is not a respecter of person. It is creating a society with no future. Unless we as a society can contain and stop this issue, there will be no hope. What is the federal government doing to stop this problem? How are Pharmaceutical companies reacting to this issue? What are the effects on the general public? This is just some of the issues that were discussed in Frontline’s ‘The Meth Epidemic’ video. We will attempt to answer these questions throughout this paper. As previously stated methamphetamine is the most addictive drug today.
One puff from a pipe containing methamphetamine will keep a person high for a day. People who use meth state that it gives a euphoric feeling. Your whole body tingles all over, and you have a happy feeling. When one comes down from meth, you crave more. You want to feel that same feeling again and again. The neuroscience of methamphetamine states that meth affects the part of the brain that releases dopamine. Dr Rawson states that the feeling that meth gives a person is the “mother of them all. ” He states that no normal experience, including orgasms will give the same release of dopamine as meth.
It has also been found that after extended use of meth, the brain changes how it operates. It alters the way the brain feels pleasure. One feels in all gray, so they want to feel pleasure again and continue to use. Amphetamines were used by bikers, truckers, and college students. Diamphetamine is the original cold medicine ingredient to use in the creation of meth. Compared to Amphetamines, it is like high octane gas versus low octane gas. When the pharmaceuticals started using pseudoephedrine, meth cooks accommodated and changed their recipe. Pseudoephedrine is found in over the counter medications such as Sudafed.
Crystal meth is made from cold medications and other household products. These household products can be heet, propane, ammonia, muriatic acid, lighter fluid and other solvents. The government has now realized that methamphetamine is a serious issue due to super labs. It appears that the same factories selling pseudoephedrine to the pharmaceutical companies were selling to the drug cartels. Since this has been revealed, the government and state governments have been setting regulations concerning the sale of pseudoephedrine, over the counter drugs.
Most states have limited the purchase of Sudafed to three boxes at a time. Meth cooks have started as system called “smurfing. ” A person will go from store to store buying the maximum medication allowed to purchase. When this became evident, a cook would gather several people to run in out of the stores gathering the medication. This was called “super smurfing”. It began around 2006 when new legislation “the combat act” was passed to have pseudoephedrine signed for when being purchased. Pharmaceutical companies reason that we need to find out what is driving the addiction and usage of the drug.
Getting rid of the ingredients will not be enough to stop the meth problem. They further explain that access to legitimate customers is more important than preventing the illicit use of the drug. There is a human cost to using methamphetamine. Among these effects are the deteriorating bones, the decaying teeth, and the fact they are a shell of what they once were. In Portland, Oregon, meth addiction is the leading cause of break ins and the cause of the high rate of foster care. Meth addicts will break in houses, and will either sell the stolen property for money for meth or trade it for meth.
Property owners are not taking the hardest hit from the meth addicts. The children and spouses are the ones who have to suffer the most. Fifty percent of children that are in foster care have parents that are meth addicts. One nine year old child related in absolute detail how to cook meth, how her father made the children taste the batch, and how it made them feel. She went on to speak of violence, constant viewing of pornography, and the sexual activities that involved her when the adults were high. Most of these foster children are known as meth orphans.
In dealing with the problem of meth addiction, I believe that Oregon has figured out a solution in helping with this issue. In the state of Oregon, Pseudoephedrine is prescription only. Since it has become prescription only, one county which contained sixty four meth labs, now only has one. The crime in this county is down across the board, and the twenty seven percent arrest rate do to meth is now down to 4. 6%. In the area that I live in, the police need to make more arrests. Our officers don’t bother due to the overcrowdings, and the fact that they will be released back into society.
I do feel that eliminating the access to the medication is not enough. We need to regulate the access to the solvents as well. If we had to sign and or have to show our I. D. every time we purchased solvents such as lighter fluid, ammonia, or propane. I am afraid that even going to this extent will not solve this problem. In truth, the addiction to methamphetamine makes me completely disgusted with this part of society. The users of meth take and take and take. They don’t want to work, they give up their children, and some will sell their child for a fix.
In today’s society, there are more grandparents raising their grandchildren than ever before. The parents don’t want to bother with the children. They continue to have children for the benefits and tax returns that they receive which is used to buy more drugs. Meth has taken away our primal instinct to protect and nurture our children. If we continue this way, there will be no future. In the words of my brother, “I need money, and that‘s why sell meth. ” I have a very one sided view of this issue. It has almost destroyed my family, and I have never touched the drug.