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The Facts about Meth Addiction in the US

Meth addiction isn’t just a problem in the United States- it is a worldwide epidemic of unimaginable proportions, with meth being the 2nd most widely used illicit substance on earth. However, recent studies have suggested that meth use is declining in the United States, perhaps as a result of strong legislation to control meth precursors. Declining or not, meth is still a severe problem that results in thousands of deaths in the US each year. Furthermore, some American prisons contain inmate populations where more than 80-90% were incarcerated on meth-related charges. This indicates a vast social and economic problem that must be understood in order to effect change and help people break free from meth addiction.

The same recent United Nations report that named meth as the second most widely used drug in the world also indicated that the most prolific users of meth are young adults, homosexual men and homeless people. However, the report may have been somewhat skewed due to the obscurity behind causation: for example, were the people homeless as a result of their meth use? This is unclear. However, what is clear is that people who use meth are much more likely to be associated with violent crime such as robbery, rape, or even murder.

In addition to the above mentioned groups, meth also affected people from all other demographics. Lawyers, bankers, teachers, policemen, janitors- all types of people use methamphetamines for a great variety of reasons and those that do place themselves in grave danger of becoming addicted. This is because meth causes significant amounts of dopamine to be released in the brain. This builds neurological pathways that cause severe cravings for the drug- a condition known as physical dependence. With continued use addiction occurs very rapidly, and once addicted people often resort to extreme actions and behaviors in order to feed their addiction.

Even semi-frequent use of meth can result in serious and potentially fatal complications. Meth is a central nervous system depressant. This means that an individual could have a heart attack, seizures, liver or kidney failure, pulmonary issues, slip into a coma and even die with only limited use of methamphetamines. In fact, each year there are approximately 15,000 deaths in the US related to stimulants like meth, and nearly 8% of all emergency room admissions in 2009 were related to use of methamphetamine. Unfortunately, most hospitals and urgent care centers report that only one sixth of patients admitted for meth-related conditions go on to immediately receive treatment for meth addiction.

Despite legislation banning the substances used to make meth, thousands of clandestine meth laboratories are discovered by authorities each year. This means that- as is the problem with all other drugs- the issue here does not lie in controlling the supply of meth: the issue lies in controlling the demand for it. The best way to do this is to spread the word to others and help those suffering from meth addiction to get help.

If you or someone you care about has a problem with meth, their very life may depend on getting help right now. That’s why we’re here 24 hours per day to provide you with a confidential, no-obligation consultation. Don’t become just another meth addiction statistic- become a success story by calling us now.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More