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Meth Addiction Resource Center

  • Mar
    21

    Methamphetamine Questions and Answers

    In this section we will give answers to some of the many questions people have concerning methamphetamines and their use and abuse. Meth is used by people in every age group and serious dangers that are associated with methamphetamine abuse affect not only the user but their families, loved ones and friends. Meth labs and the manufacturing of meth is not only illegal but extremely dangerous, this not only affects the user but society and the environment as well.

    Where is meth manufactured and distributed?

    Meth gets illegally imported into the United States. Methamphetamine is locally manufactured in illegal clandestine meth labs and illegally produced and trafficked in from Mexican drug sources for the most part. Local meth labs can be found in every state, the size of the meth lab and production varies.

    Where do you find meth labs?

    Meth labs can be found almost anywhere today. Some of the locations where meth labs have been found include; motel rooms, houses, apartments, rental property, storage sheds and units, RVs, sheds, garages, vacant buildings, campgrounds, and in vehicles.

    What kinds of ingredients are needed to make meth?

    There are several variations of ingredients used in the production of meth. One recipe includes antifreeze, lantern fuel, lye, battery acid; drain cleaner, ammonia (anhydrous), hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus, and ephedrine or pseudoephedrine which is found in cold medications. At one time not so long ago these medications were sold over the counter. They are much harder to come by now but those who manufacture meth continue to find illegal ways to keep their supply going.

    How much does meth cost on the street?

    One of the reasons meth is popular is due to the cost. It only costs about $5 to purchase what is considered a 'point'. This gives the user a high and the effects experienced can last for up to 24 hours.

    Who uses meth?

    People of all ages use methamphetamines according to surveys that have been done in the past. Meth is used by teens and young adults many times during raves and parties. Surveys show adolescents as young as 12 years of age have used methamphetamines.

    Why do people even start using meth in the first place?

    Some athletes and students in schools and college use meth because it heightens and increases their physical performance. Their mental performance is also increased; they are able to stay awake for hours feeling full of energy as they cram for tests. Some people use methamphetamines to lose weight also. Meth energizes you, gives you mental and emotional strength, and also give the user confidence, these are some of the reasons young people are abusing meth today, they use it socially at parties and raves.

    Is meth used in combination with other drugs?

    Quite often meth is used in combination of alcohol or other drugs. Some users especially when fighting cravings or seeking a compulsive intense high will combine other drugs at the same time. When an individual is addicted to stimulants like methamphetamine, they turn to other drugs as well.

    How is meth administered?

    Meth is ingested orally, snorted through the nose, injected intravenously, or smoked. Crystal meth is the form of methamphetamine that's smoked.

    Are there legitimate uses for methamphetamines?

    Yes, but methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II stimulant because it is potentially addictive. Methamphetamine legally is a prescribed medication that cannot be refilled. Narcolepsy and ADD are two of the medical reasons that a person could be prescribed methamphetamines by their physician. In rare cases a person could be prescribed methamphetamine for the treatment of obesity. When legally prescribed, the dose is set at a safe level and the use of meth is extremely limited. When meth is abused, the individual uses dangerously high levels that would never be prescribed from a professional physician.

    What effects do meth labs have on the environment?

    For every pound of meth that's manufactured there is around 5 or 6 pounds of waste that's extremely toxic and dangerous. Chemicals that are left over after cooking meth get poured down drains and sewers many times. These chemicals can stay in the soil and ground water for a long time, for years. Wastes from meth labs are toxic and exposures to the chemicals that are used in producing meth are extremely dangerous. Meth labs have also been known to catch on fire or explode which is very dangerous to the whole neighborhood as well as the environment.

    Is it expensive to clean up a meth lab site?

    Depending on the size, it can cost anywhere between $5 thousand dollars to more than $100 thousand dollars to clean up a meth site. Naturally the bigger the operations the more it entails and costs to clean up the toxic chemical debris.

    Who pays for a meth lab to be cleaned up?

    Government funding paid for meth labs to be cleaned up in the past but when this funding is cut off, the state will be responsible for cleaning up these sites.

    What are some signs of a meth lab?

    A sweet or a strong odor may be coming from the suspected site; this odor is usually odd smelling such as ammonia or auto parts cleaners. Windows are usually covered, frosted, or blacked out. Another sign is the unusual amount of traffic going in and out day and night. Excessive amounts of trash which includes empty containers of anti-freeze, camping fuel, parts of batteries, used stained coffee filters, glassware and drain cleaners are usually laying around or in the trash. Other signs include:

    1. Containers of cold tablets that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
    2. Jars that are labeled as red phosphorus, a purple or dark red powder
    3. Labeled bottles or jars that contains sulfuric, muriatic, or hydrochloric acid
    4. Glass jars or bottles with rubber attached tubing
    5. Glass cookware that may contain residue that's powdery
    6. Ribbon chunks that are kept in oil or kerosene
    7. Propane tanks that have fittings that have turned blue in color
    If I suspect a meth lab in my area, who do I contact?

    Always call your local authorities; never investigate on your own. Meth lab environments are very hazardous, they're not only dangerous due to toxic chemicals and contamination but many times people operating meth labs also have weapons.

    REMEMBER TO NEVER - Touch anything or turn on any electrical power, turn off any electrical power, eat or drink anywhere in or around the lab, open or move any containers, chemicals, or suspected chemicals; smoke anywhere around a meth lab, or smell any containers.

    Can meth affect your sex drive?

    Meth can enhance the user's sex drive and unfortunately this has led to unprotected sex. This can and has led to HIV and AIDS.

    Are there legitimate medical uses for methamphetamine?

    Medical uses for methamphetamine are narcolepsy, ADD, and obesity. This is rare, only when other forms of medical treatment don't work. When meth is prescribed it is closely monitored and for a very limited time. If methamphetamines are prescribed for ADD, they are only prescribed to children over the age of 6.

    Is it important to talk to my child about meth?

    It's always good to talk to your children about meth or the use of any drug or substance. The earlier you talk with your children the better. The approach is what's most important. Education and communication are the best form of prevention so set good examples at home and talk with your children when they're young. Always work hard to keep the lines of communication open with your children, it's not always easy the older they get but never stop trying or listening. It's also important to listen to your children and let them ask questions too. This helpful website can help you get started.

    What is it about meth that makes people continue using it?

    The intense high that's produced quickly with crystal meth is one reason people continue to use it. Meth is inexpensive to buy; it doesn't take long to produce meth so it's available and easy to come by. Meth produces confidence, energy levels increase; concentration increases, and takes away hunger. The effects from using meth can last anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. Many young people view meth as a trendy drug of abuse; meth is considered one of the drugs in the category of 'club drugs' that are used by many young people attending all night parties called raves.

    Are there tests online that I can buy if I suspect my child is using meth?

    There are test kits available online but I'm not sure about their accuracy.

    Should I push recovery and treatment on someone I know is using meth?

    Pushing a person into treatment is never a good idea. Talking to them about their use or misuse of meth is fine; it's the approach that's most important. Suggesting treatment and therapy can be helpful if it's done in a caring and supportive manner. Denial is a coping mechanism for most people who abuse drugs or alcohol and until they're ready the person can be quite defensive about their substance use.

    A professional intervention done by a qualified and experienced Interventionist can be extremely successful in terms of getting a loved one or friend to see their need for treatment. They know how to talk to a person in need of treatment without causing defensive behavior or unnecessary friction between family members. Always remember that treatment doesn't have to be voluntary to be effective.

    If you only use meth once, can you become addicted to it?

    Yes, some people have become dependent after the first time of using meth. A lot has to do with the individual's state of mind and their personality though.

    What are the signs you may have if you are having an allergic reaction to meth?

    It is possible to be allergic to methamphetamine. Signs of swelling in hands, feet, throat and face are possible signs of an allergic reaction. Trouble breathing or swallowing is serious; always seek medical attention when swelling, swallowing or breathing is affected.

    Can meth cause infertility?

    Research shows that even though meth can enhance the individual's sex drive, meth can also cause impotence.

    What is tweaking?

    Tweaking is a stage that takes place after the meth user has binged for a while, going without sleep sometimes for several days. The user is very irritable by this time and is very uncomfortable. The meth user is very depressed now, anxious, restless, experiencing severe cravings for more of the drug and may be showing signs of violent behavior. During the tweaking stage confronting the user can be dangerous because paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations are experienced during this time by many meth users.

    Is it necessary to remain abstinent from substances while going through treatment?

    In order for treatment to be successful, the individual needs to be abstinent from drugs or alcohol. Sometimes people relapse but are able to gain control during treatment as they work toward a full recovery. Chronic drug and alcohol users find it's safer for them to enter residential treatment programs in order to maintain abstinence during treatment.




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