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Ask Michelle - Questions & Answers about Meth Addiction and Recovery

  • Feb
    02

    History of Meth

    Question:
    Where does crystal meth originate from?

    Answer:
    Amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887 but didn't become available commercially until 1932 which was in the form of a nasal spray used for the treatment of asthma. The stimulant properties of amphetamines began to be recognized and that led to more medical and functional uses of the drug. By 1937 you could get amphetamines by prescription to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. After this much more potent forms of amphetamines began to be developed and were eventually made available to the public like dextroamphetamine sulfate and methamphetamine.

    Methamphetamines were used during World War II quite frequently, these drugs enhanced a soldier's performance and they also helped combat fatigue symptoms the soldiers were experiencing. It was after World War II that injecting methamphetamines reached epidemic proportions in Japan. This is when supplies that were stored for military use at one time became available to the public.

    In the 50s over the road truckers would frequently use legal methamphetamine tablets in order to stay awake on their long hauls. Athletes used methamphetamines in order to boost their performance and students were using them when they were studying for long periods of time in order to keep up with their busy schedules. This wasn't considered substance abuse back then because people were using meth for specific reasons. Methamphetamines required a prescription but when people used them for nonmedical reasons their drug use didn't lead to addiction because the dose wasn't extreme and they weren't continually abused. These people were taking methamphetamines for specific reasons with abuse not being one of them.

    This didn't last very long though, in the 60s because the injectable form of meth was so easy to come by, injecting methamphetamine began to spread among a specific group of people who were known as 'speed freaks'. This eventually led to several pharmaceutical amphetamine products being removed from the market and what continued to be on the market, stopped being prescribed by physicians quite so often. Because of amphetamine products being removed and prescriptions for meth decreasing the demand increased on the black market for methamphetamines.

    In the 70s because of the Controlled Substance Act meth use began to decline in most areas but the ACT didn't stop methamphetamine use completely. Methamphetamine was always so inexpensive to make and easy to produce and the ingredients were always easy to find so the demand for meth began to increase again. When the demand increased so did the illegal clandestine labs that produced and manufactured meth. The increased demand for meth was partially due to the fact that it was and still is relatively cheap and the euphoric high that's experienced during use lasts a lot longer. Between that and the fact that availability began to be widespread methamphetamines were sought after quite often.

    Today in 2011 methamphetamines are still available just about everywhere, still inexpensive and the demand is high. Clandestine labs can be found not only in buildings but can be made in the trunk of a car or in a bath tub. The active ingredients needed for the production of meth are ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These drugs are being monitored in order to control their sale which cuts down on the production of meth. Some states require a prescription for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products now and they have seen a drastic decrease in meth labs and meth related crime and incidents. The goal is to have ephedrine and pseudoephedrine closely monitored and out of the hands of drug dealers and those who manufacture meth.


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