Meth addiction is inevitable for those who abuse the drug regularly. Some experts would go so far as to say that with regular use of the drug it is nearly impossible to avoid addiction to meth. Meth users become addicted to the drug very quickly. Meth users find themselves over time using the drug with increasing frequency and in larger doses. Many people take meth because it releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the users brain. Dopamine works by stimulating brain cells which in turn enhance the users mood and their energy level.

Like other drugs of addiction, meth users build a tolerance to its effects. What this means is that the user must take more and more meth to experience the drugs effect at the same level of intensity. Eventually, the doses of meth can become so high that the most dangerous side effects of meth become a reality for the user. These side effects include increased heart rate, severe hyperthermia (high body temperature), paranoia, and stroke.

When someone who has a meth addiction begins to feel the effects of the drug wear off, they often take more of the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms from coming on. This leads to a very dangerous cycle. Addicted individuals who are looking to ease the symptoms of withdrawal may also use additional drugs besides meth. Due to this drugs stimulating effects, addicts often use a depressant to comedown off the drug and to help get though the withdrawal process.

Those who have suffered with a meth addiction in the past have stated that it can be extremely difficult and emotionally painful to stop using. The road to living drug-free may seem very difficult. If you or someone you care about is suffering with addiction problems, there are a few things one can do to get on the path to recovery. First, acknowledge the addiction. Ignoring the problem or bailing someone out only feeds their habit and keeps them ensnared in the addiction.

Next contact a professional in the drug rehab field. Unlike the traditional pharmacological approach to drug addiction, a number of treatment programs are now tailored specifically to deal with meth addiction. These programs go beyond detoxification to prepare the addict for long-term recovery. Recovering addicts are coached individually or in small therapy groups. They are taught about their addiction, ways to manage their cravings, and how to avoid situations that could trigger a relapse.

Meth Addict

A person may become a meth addict almost immediately after their first time using the drug. Researchers believe this is because the drug interacts with their brain which generates an extreme sense of euphoria. Meth begins to rule over the individual’s life, demanding attention at all times. This in turn leads them to resent circumstances when they are unable to use, such as with non-using friends, work, school, and family. As this resentment builds, the addict will push others away who no longer “fit” into their desired lifestyle. One sign of a meth addict is that they continually strive to achieve the initial “rush” they felt the first time they used the drug. However, this is not possible because meth suppresses and depletes the brain’s production of normal chemical messages that create pleasurable feelings.

Treatment providers describe someone who is a meth addict as the hardest to treat of all drug users. These addicts have an intense and fanatical devotion to meth, resisting treatment even when it’s voluntary. Many addicts struggle in treatment during the withdrawal process. Addicts in recovery often find the experience of withdrawal to be too difficult and go back to using once again. The severity and length of withdrawal symptoms depends on the amount of physical, mental, and emotional damage done during use. Symptoms include: drug craving, irritability, loss of energy, depression, shaking, nausea, sweating and fearfulness. Although a meth addict will typically get over the acute effects of withdrawal fairly quickly, they have to climb the “wall” in order to have any hope of overcoming their drug addiction. This period can last anywhere from six months to three years.

Effective rehabilitation cannot begin until a user has been meth-free for an extended period of time. Also, because meth is such an addictive drug, relapse is a very real concern. Relapse is even a concern after completion of a treatment program. Do you wonder whether or not you are a meth addict? Here are five questions that may help you look at your using behavior. Note: This self assessment is for information purposes only and it does not replace a formal evaluation by a medical or mental health professional.

  • Have you noticed feelings of increased anxiety or paranoia?
  • Is your drug use associated with risky behaviors, such as unsafe sex?
  • Are you losing weight? Have friends expressed concern about your appearance?
  • Are you finding yourself distant from your non-using friends?
  • Have you noticed problems with your teeth, gums or other aspects of oral health?

Meth Addiction Treatment

Meth addiction treatment is the most effective way to recover from meth addiction. Some people may try to go though withdrawal and detoxification without professional help and find they are able to stop using for a period of time. However, most meth addicts need help to put an end to their addiction problems. Attending a meth addiction treatment program is a vital step in the recovery process. While in addiction treatment, the recovering addict learns invaluable lessons on how to live a sober life. They will learn how to avoid using meth as well as learn how to become a functioning part of their family, workplace, and community. Addiction treatment programs help the individual make lifestyle changes, manage their feelings, develop coping tools, and learn drug refusal skills. Students in treatment programs also learn to identify relapse warning signs and thoughts that may lead them to relapse in the future. Meth addiction treatment is known to substantially improve an individual’s prospects for future employment. Gains of up to forty percent have been shown after an addict attends treatment. In the end, an individual’s success in addiction treatment greatly depends on three key elements.

The first is the extent and nature of their addiction problem. The second is the proper fit of the treatment facility with the individual’s addiction recovery needs. The third element is the individual’s involvement in their chosen treatment program. Those with years of heavy meth addiction may have a more difficult time when it comes to ending their addiction patterns. The difficulty may lie in the fact that their lifestyle has consisted of drug use for such an extended period of time that it may be difficult to imagine living without it. This type of individual may greatly benefit from attending a long term inpatient meth addiction treatment program. This type of treatment generally involves a period of three to six months so as to provide the individual with an extensive change of environment as well as care twenty-four hours a day.

Research has proven that this may be the most successful type of treatment for those who have a history of heavy drug addiction spanning over many years. Recovery is an ongoing process. The skills one learns during meth addiction treatment must be integrated into everyday life and this takes time. Though there are a variety of different types of treatment available, the most successful ones include strategies for keeping the person in treatment, skills to help the individual handle everyday situations that may cause trouble once they have completed the program, and guidance and counseling towards understanding the individual’s initial reasons for drug addiction. If you use meth and can answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you may benefit from taking a closer look at your use.

Meth Effects

Meth effects have been described by users as having endless energy, no need to eat or sleep, super focus, productivity, and a feeling of euphoria. This drug puts the user’s body into “overdrive” and causes numerous physical and psychological problems for the user. meth stimulates the central nervous system and has a high potential for addiction. Meth is taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the user experiences an intense sensation called a “rush” or “flash”. This sensation lasts only a few minutes and is described as being extremely pleasurable. Those who take the drug orally or snort it also experience a sense of euphoria. However, these methods of ingestion do not produce the same intense “rush” or “flash” as is experienced by those who take the drug using other methods. This drug belongs to the amphetamine family. Just like cocaine, meth creates strong feelings of excitement in the user. However, meth effects are longer lasting than the effects of cocaine and are one of the many reasons it has surpassed cocaine’s popularity among drug addicts. A meth high can also be compared to a euphoric flood, a complete body orgasm, and infinite energy. The most boring of tasks becomes a riveting experience when on this drug, even house-cleaning. These effects can last from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Someone who takes meth in small doses will feel energetic, faster, more confident, and stronger. In time, these effects will diminish and the user takes a higher dose in order to experience the drug’s euphoric effects again. As one continues to abuse meth they may become nervous and unpredictable, calm and friendly for a moment, then furious and threatening the next. Often the effects of meth will cause the user to become delusional, paranoid, hostile, and feel rage.

Another one of meth effects includes repetitive behavior. Someone who is on this drug may draw, write, apply and reapply makeup, or pick at their skin for hours on end. Those who take a considerable amount of meth over a long period of time will usually develop a kind of psychosis and paranoid behavior. They may hear voices or have strange delusions. For example, they may believe that people are talk about them or somebody is following them. The panic and acute psychotic condition created by meth effects is extremely dangerous. It may lead to extremely violent behavior in the user, even in the most passive of and non-threatening of persons.

Meth Side Effects

As with nearly all drugs, there are numerous meth side effects. The most common are insomnia, agitation, irritability, dry mouth, sweating, and heart palpitations. Also the user’s body temperature increases, as does their breathing and heart rate. Additionally, their blood pressure is elevated and people with cardiac or blood pressure problems may cause further damage to their cardiovascular systems. Meth side effects include behavioral problems, paranoia, and psychosis. These problems are experienced most often by users who have a predisposition to mental illness.

The user’s mood can become unpredictable. Mood swings, suspicion, anger, and depression are frequent side effects for those who abuse the drug regularly. Their relationships and general social interactions are negatively affected as well. The most disturbing meth side effects include the classic meth-user look of a wounded face and a collapsed jaw. Because this drug is similar to a super Sudafed, it dries out the user’s skin completely. Addicts begin to believe they are suffering from “meth lice.” This leads to frantic scratching of the face using fingernails or any other tool such as tweezers. This process is generally known as picking. Picking can lead to serious self-inflicted wounds, especially in the face. Another physical sign is rotten teeth and a collapsing jaw. This drug dries out the gum tissue and leads to grinding of the teeth and ultimately collapsing of the jaw inward.

Other physical side effects of meth include a flushed appearance, severe weight loss, boundless energy, deep sleep patterns, and excessive sweating. On an emotional level, meth side effects can be equally visible and devastating. They include irresponsibility, child neglect, and crime (most often to pay for the drug). A single puff of meth can keep a user high for 24 hours, unlike cocaine or heroin which only last for a couple of hours. For someone on the mend or looking to sustain their habit, this can lead to serious bouts of violence, paranoid schizophrenia, and suicidal tendencies. Any form of drug misuse or addiction comes at a cost to the user and meth is no different. Meth addiction can sometimes cause permanent life-altering changes. Work, relationships, and the ability to live day to day are affected. Crime, drug busts, restricted job prospects, visa denials, jail, and serious healthcare issues are just some of the things that are effects by one’s meth addiction. users often stay awake for days on end, eating very little and staying in a heightened state of arousal. This is very stressful for the body and brain.

Meth Statistics

  • Typically, one-tenth of a gram of meth in tablet form costs $5.00 and may range up to $20.00 (which is usually imported from Europe, and may be sold as ecstasy). The use of meth goes back into the late 1960’s but because of numerous successful campaigns, the drug was cleared off the streets in the 1970’s. However, in the early 1990’s the market for meth reopened and today it is one of the most commonly abused illegal substances. The manufacture of a pound of meth can produce about six pounds of toxic waste.
  • Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Meth Statistics: Users In 2005, the National survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released their meth statistics. Their survey noted that 10.4 million people 12 years old and over have tried meth at least once in their lifetime. Approximately 1.3 million people reported using meth between the year 2004 – 2005 and 512,000 reported using meth within the last month this meth statistic was taken. According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly 5 percent of high school seniors in the United States used methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime and 3 percent used the drug in the past year. The number of annual internet searches for “meth”, 14,013, and “meth addiction”, 12,173, add credence to concern about this highly addictive stimulant. Similar to other substance abuse inquiries, people are often looking for information about “addiction treatment” (3,356 occurrences annually), and “addiction symptoms” (3,333), in relation to meth addiction. Meth Statistics: Effects and Side Effects The average high from meth last between 4-12 hours. It takes 12 hours for the user’s body to remove 50% of the drug from their system. methamphetamine use is associated with numerous serious physical problems. The drug can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain–which can lead to stroke.
  • Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Meth Statistics: Health Hazards Overdoses can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions, and death. methamphetamine users who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne viruses. Chronic users who inject methamphetamine also risk scarred or collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and liver or kidney disease.

Meth Facts

  • Meth is a common street names for methamphetamine, the most hyper-charged member of the amphetamine drug family. Widely used in the 1960’s and early ’70s for its intense effects, virtually disappeared in the 1980’s. However, it has resurfaced on a massive scale nationwide in recent years. It looks like a whiteline powder. Although legal amphetamine is odorless, illegal forms of the drug often have a strong ammonia smell, due to incomplete clearing of solvents or reagents during manufacture. meth is always made in bootleg labs and because of this the potency, effects, and dangers of the drug change every time. There is no standard dose or formula for meth as it is an underground black market drug.
  • Meth increases arousal in the central nervous system by pumping up levels of two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. At low doses, it boosts alertness and blocks hunger and fatigue. At higher doses, it causes exhilaration and euphoria. At very high doses, the drug can cause agitation, paranoia, and bizarre behavior. Physical effects include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Anxiety, emotional swings, and paranoia are the most common psychological effects of chronic use. Symptoms increase with long-term use and can involve paranoid delusions or hallucinations. Violence and self-destructive behavior are also very common.
  • Overdose is a huge risk with meth. Symptoms include fever, convulsions, and coma. Death can result from burst blood vessels in the brain (triggered by spikes in blood pressure) or heart failure. The high from meth tends to last 4-12 hours with users continuing to take the drug for days. Meth Facts: Meth Users Nearly half of first time meth users and more than three quarters of second time meth users report addiction like cravings. meth is as popular with women as it is with men, making it one of the few ‘gender neutral’ drugs. Women are drawn to meth because one of the side effects of using is weight loss, usually extreme weight loss. Although meth is known to cause extreme weight loss, the effects are not permanent and many regular meth users experience adaptation where the weight loss no longer occurs as the body becomes used to the effects of meth. When this happens, habitual users may even start to gain weight.
  • Usually neurons recycle dopamine. But Methamphetamine is able to fool neurons into taking it up just like they would dopamine. Once inside a neuron, Methamphetamine causes that neuron to release lots of dopamine. All this dopamine causes the person to feel an extra sense of pleasure that can last all day. But eventually these pleasurable effects stop. They are followed by unpleasant feelings called a “crash” that often lead a person to use more of the drug. If a person continues to use Methamphetamine, they will have a difficult time feeling pleasure from anything. Imagine no longer enjoying your favorite food or an afternoon with your friends.
  • Common nicknames for meth include “crank”, “meth”, “ice”, “crystal”, “tina”, “glass”, “P”,”shabu” or “syabu” (Philippines), and “yaa baa” (Thailand). Methamphetamine is sometimes referred to as “speed”, but this term is usually used for regular amphetamine or dextroamphetamine.
  • In 1986 the U.S. government passed the Federal Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act in an attempt to curb the growing use of designer drugs like meth. Despite this, or perhaps in part because of this, usage of methamphetamine expanded throughout rural United States, especially through the Midwest and South.
  • As a result of the U.S. Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, a subsection of the PATRIOT Act, there are restrictions on the amount of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine that can be used to make meth one may purchase in a specified time period, and further requirements that these products must be stored in order to prevent theft.
  • Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant which affects neurochemical mechanisms responsible for regulating heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, appetite, attention, mood and responses associated with alertness or alarm conditions.
  • The various physical effects of methamphetamine include, increased energy, change in libido, increased sweating, decrease in appetite (anorexia), insomnia, dilated pupils, tightened jaw muscles (trismus), teeth grinding (bruxism), itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, involuntary body movements (twitches, grimacing, lip smacking, etc), increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, dry mouth, and a difficulty in urination. Serious physical effects include, possibly fatal lung and kidney disorders, possible brain damage, lowered resistance to illnesses, liver damage, heart attack, and stroke.
  • The psychological effects of methamphetamine include, euphoria, dysphoria, increased attention, increased alertness, excessive talking, rapid speech, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, panic, aggressive and sometimes violent behavior, severe depression, suicidal tendencies, hyperactivity and excitability, increased sense of well-being, and emotional lability. Occasionally excessive and/or chronic use of methamphetamine can lead to amphetamine psychosis, with side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and thought disorder.
  • Withdrawal from methamphetamine can produce effects such as craving, exhaustion, depression, mental confusion, restlessness and insomnia, deep or disturbed sleep sometimes lasting up to 48 hours, extreme hunger, psychotic reaction, and anxiety reactions.
  • As with other amphetamines, tolerance to methamphetamine is not completely understood, but known to be sufficiently complex that it cannot be explained by any single mechanism. The extent of tolerance and the rate at which it develops varies widely between individuals, and even within one person it is highly dependent on dosage, duration of use and frequency of administration. Many cases of narcolepsy were treated with methamphetamine for years without escalating doses or any apparent loss of effect.
  • Serious health and appearance problems associated with many meth users can be caused by unsterilized needles, lack or ignoring of hygiene needs (more typical on chronic methamphetamine use), increase in acne on high doses, and obsessive skin-picking which may lead to abscesses.
  • Meth users may exhibit sexually compulsive behaviour while under the influence of Methamphetamine. This disregard for the potential dangers of unprotected sex or other reckless sexual behavior may contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
  • The usual route for medical use is oral administration. In recreational use, methamphetamine can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, dissolved in water and injected (or even without water, in what is called a dry shot), Meth inserted anally (with or without dissolution in water; also known as a booty bump or shafting), or into the urethra.
  • “Smoking” methamphetamine actually refers to vaporizing it to produce fumes, rather than burning and inhaling the resulting smoke, as with tobacco. It is commonly smoked in glass pipes made from blown Pyrex tubes, light bulbs, or on aluminum foil heated by a flame underneath. This method is also known as “chasing the white dragon”.
  • Injecting Meth is a popular method for use, also known as slamming, but carries quite serious risks. The hydrochloride salt of methamphetamine is soluble in water; injection users may use any dose from 125 milligrams to over one gram using a hypodermic needle (Although it should be noted that typically street methamphetamine is “cut” with a water-soluble cutting material which constitutes a significant portion of that street meth dose).
  • Another popular method for recreational use of methamphetamine is to insufflate (sometimes called snorting). This is done by crushing the methamphetamines up into a fine powder and then sharply inhaling it (sometimes with a straw or a rolled up bill) into the nose where the meth is absorbed through the soft tissue in the mucous membrane of the sinus cavity straight into the bloodstream.
  • Authorities have discovered increasing numbers of small-scale methamphetamine labs all over the United States, mostly in rural, suburban, or low-income areas. Indiana state police found 1,260 meth labs in 2003, compared to just 6 meth labs in 1995, although this may be a result of increased police activity.
  • As of 2007, meth and meth lab seizure data suggests that approximately 80 percent of the methamphetamine used in the United States originates from larger methamphetamine laboratories operated by Mexican-based syndicates on both sides of the border, and that approximately 20 percent comes from small toxic labs in the United States.
  • Methamphetamine is distributed by prison gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, street gangs, traditional organized crime operations, and impromptu small networks. In the U.S. illicit methamphetamine comes in a variety of forms, at an average price of $150 per gram for pure meth.
  • A popular method of mixing meth with other substances is to combine methamphetamine with other stimulant substances such as caffeine or cathine into a pill known as a “Kamikaze”, which is particularly dangerous due to the synergistic effects of multiple stimulants on the heart.
  • Meth laboratory seizure data show that the increased number of domestic meth laboratories seized during the first half of 2008 is primarily attributable to a rise in small-capacity meth laboratories; however, large-scale methamphetamine production in central California is also increasing.
  • In South Africa the abuse of methamphetamine has reached epidemic proportions in especially the Cape Flats area of Cape Town where it is called “tik” or “tik-tik”. Youngsters as young as eight are abusing the substance where it is smoked in crude glass vials constructed from light bulbs.
  • Ecstasy is a slang term for an illegal drug that has effects similar to those of hallucinogens and stimulants. Ecstasy’s scientific name is “MDMA,” short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night dance club “raves” or “trances” where ecstasy is often used. That’s why MDMA is called a “club drug.”
  • Because it is similar to dopamine, Methamphetamine can change the function of any neuron that contains dopamine. And if this weren’t enough, Methamphetamine can also affect neurons that contain two other neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine. All of this means that Methamphetamine can change how lots of things in the brain and the body work. Even small amounts of Methamphetamine can cause a person to be more awake and active, lose their appetite, and become irritable and aggressive. Methamphetamine also causes a person’s blood pressure to increase and their heart to beat faster.
  • A stimulant speeds up a person’s body and brain. Stimulants, such as methamphetamines and cocaine, have the opposite effect of depressants. Usually, stimulants make a person feel high and energized. When the effects of a stimulant wear off, the person will feel tired or sick.
  • Drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters, or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals, which is needed to shut off the signal between neurons. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message that ultimately disrupts normal communication patterns.
  • In 2000, Americans spent an estimated $36 billion on cocaine, $11 billion on marijuana, $10 billion on heroin, $5.4 billion on methamphetamine, and $2.4 billion on other illegal substances. Projected estimates indicate that approximately 260 metric tons of cocaine and 13.3 metric tons of heroin were consumed by U.S. drug users during 2000.
  • Of the 115,589 offenders arrested by Federal law enforcement agencies in 2000, 28% were arrested for drug offenses. Of the 35,000 arrests made in 2001 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 38.8% involved cocaine, 9.4% involved heroin, 19.7% involved marijuana, and 32.0% involved other drugs, including stimulants (e.g., methamphetamine), depressants (e.g., barbiturates), and hallucinogens (e.g., LSD and PCP).
  • In 2001, wholesale cocaine prices nationwide ranged from $12,000 to $35,000 per kilogram. In 2000,the price for South American heroin ranged from $50,000 to $200,000 per kilogram, Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin ranged from $40,000 to $190,000 per kilogram,and Mexican heroin cost between $13,200 and $175,000 per kilogram. Methamphetamine prices at the distribution level ranged from $3,500 per pound inareas of California and Texas to $21,000 per pound in the Eastern United States. Retail methamphetamine prices ranged from $400 to $3,000 per ounce.
  • In 2001, the average purity of a kilogram of cocaine was 73%. The nationwide average purity for heroin from all sources in 2000 was approximately 37%, while 20 years ago the average heroin purity was 7%. The rise in average purity is related to the increased availability of high-purity South American heroin. Average heroin purity broken down by source area was 48.1% for South American heroin, 34.6% for Southwest Asian heroin, and 20.8% for Mexican heroin. The average purity of methamphetamine seized by DEA dropped from 71.9% in 1994 to 30.7% in 1999. The purity rose to 35.3% in 2000 and 40.1% in 2001.
  • Methamphetamine affects your body. Over “amping” on any type of speed is pretty risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it’s meant to go. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.
  • 12th graders view even experimenting with most of the illicit drugs as risky. The percentages associating great risk with experimental use rank as follows: 60% for heroin without a needle and methamphetamine (ice); 58% for ecstasy (MDMA) and heroin; 57% for steroids; 51% for cocaine; 48% for PCP; 47% for crack; 45% for cocaine powder; 41% for amphetamines; 37% for LSD; and 28% for sedatives (barbiturates).
  • The proportion of students associating great risk with experimental use of methamphetamine (ice) fell from 62% in 1991 to 53% in 1998, as annual use increased from 1.4% to 3.0%, showing the familiar pattern of use increasing when perceived risk declines. After 1998 perceived risk was fairly steady or rising slightly (it was at 55% in 2005), while annual use has fluctuated between 2% and 3%. The continuous rise since about 2004 in perceived risk for methamphetamine continued into 2007, reaching 60% of 12th graders seeing great risk in even trying it compared to 52% in 2004. Use of this drug dropped sharply after 2005, again showing a lag between a change in perceived risk and a corresponding change in the use of the same drug.
  • Marijuana was described as readily available (“fairly easy” or “very easy” to get) by 37% of 8th graders in 2007, followed by amphetamine and crack (both at 20%), cocaine powder (19%), steroids and sedatives (barbiturates) (both at 17%), tranquilizers (14%), ecstasy (MDMA) and heroin (both at 13%), methamphetamine (ice) and narcotics other than heroin (both at 12%), LSD ( 11%), and PCP (10%).
  • methamphetamine (ice) is the drug that has generally been least available to 8th and 10th graders. For the 8th graders, availability was level from 1992 to 1998 at around 16%, declined modestly through 2003 (14%), and decreased significantly in 2007 (12%). For 10th graders, availability, which increased a bit from 1992 (19%) to 1997 (23%), also showed some decline in the late 1990s; there has been little systematic change in the 2000s.
  • (Dexedrine, Methamphetamine or “Crystal”, “Crank”, and “Speed”) increase alertness and physical activity. Amphetamines increase heart and breathing rates and blood pressure, dialate pupils and decrease appetite. Side-effects can include sweating, dry mouth, blurred vision, insomnia, loss of appetite, and dizziness. In addition users can feel restless, anxious and moody, become excitable and have a false sense of power and security.
  • Methamphetamine is sometimes used in an injectable form, placing users and their partners at risk for transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. “Meth” can also be inhaled, most commonly on aluminum foil or through a Pyrex test tube or light bulb fashioned into a pipe. This method is reported to give “an unnatural high” and a “brief intense rush” to its users.
  • In South Africa the abuse of methamphetamine has reached epidemic proportions in especially the Cape Flats area of Cape Town where it is called “tik” or “tik-tik”. Youngsters as young as eight are abusing the substance where it is smoked in crude glass vials constructed from light bulbs. Since methamphetamine is easy to produce the substance is manufactured in staggering quantities in “backyard” factories.
  • Many of the most addictive and dangerous drugs do not produce very severe physical symptoms upon withdrawal. Crack cocaine and methamphetamine are clear examples. Both are highly addictive, but stopping their use produces very few physical withdrawal symptoms, certainly nothing like the physical symptoms of alcohol or heroin withdrawal.
  • Since passage of the 2006 Patriot Act which controls public access to pseudoephedrine, limits quantities, and requires identification to purchase the medicine, the number of homemade meth labs has been reduced significantly. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that 75% of all methamphetamine available in the U.S. today is produced in “super labs” operated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
  • According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an approximated 10.4 million Americans aged 12 or older used methamphetamine at least once in their life for recreational use, representing 4.3% of the U.S. population in that age group. The amount of past year methamphetamine users in 2005 was approximately 1.3 million (0.5% of the population aged 12 or older) and the amount of past month methamphetamine users was 512,000 (0.2%).
  • The 2005 NSDUH results also show that there were 192,000 individuals aged 12 or older who had used methamphetamine for the first time within the last year. This is a statistically important reduction from 2004 when there were 318,000 past year methamphetamine initiates.
  • The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveys high school students on numerous risk factors such as drug and alcohol use. Results of the 2005 survey show that 6.2% of high school students admitted using methamphetamine at some point in their lives. This is a decrease from 7.6% in 2003 and 9.8% in 2001.
  • Long-term methamphetamine abuse can lead to addiction, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and violent behavior. In addition, psychotic symptoms like paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions (such as the sensation of bugs crawling under the user’s skin) can occur. The psychotic symptoms of meth use can last for months or years after methamphetamine use has stopped.
  • Of an approximated 108 million emergency department (ED) admissions in the U.S. during 2005, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimates that 1,449,154 ED visits were related with drug misuse or abuse. DAWN data demonstrate that methamphetamine was involved in 108,905 of the drug-related ED admissions.
  • From the year 1995 to the year 2005, the number of admissions to treatment in which methamphetamine was the principal drug of abuse increased from 47,695 in 1995 to 152,368 in 2005. The methamphetamine admissions represented 2.8% of the total drug/alcohol admissions to treatment in the year 1995 and 8.2% of the treatment admissions in the year 2005. The average age of the individuals admitted to treatment for methamphetamine/amphetamine addiction in 2005 was 31 years
  • Scientists are using brain imaging techniques, like positron emission tomography (called PET for short), to study the brains of human Methamphetamine users. They have discovered that even three years after long-time Methamphetamine users had quit using the drug, their dopamine neurons were still damaged. Scientists don’t know yet whether this damage is permanent, but this research shows that changes in the brain from Methamphetamine use can last a long time. Research with animals has shown that the drug Methamphetamine can also damage neurons that contain serotonin. This damage also continues long after the drug use is stopped.
  • If a person uses Methamphetamine for a long time, they may become paranoid. They may also hear and see things that aren’t there. These are called hallucinations. Because Methamphetamine causes big increases in blood pressure, someone using it for a long time may also have permanent damage to blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to strokes caused by bleeding in the brain.
  • Researchers are only beginning to understand how Methamphetamine acts in the brain and body. When they learn more about how Methamphetamine causes its effects, they may be able to develop treatments that prevent or reverse the damage this drug can cause.
  • Ecstasy is a slang term for an illegal drug that has effects similar to those of hallucinogens and stimulants. Ecstasy’s scientific name is “MDMA,” short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night dance club “raves” or “trances” where ecstasy is often used. That’s why MDMA is called a “club drug.”
  • Biological effects of drugs. Drug abuse and addiction can affect a person’s overall health, thereby altering susceptibility to HIV and progression of AIDS. Drugs of abuse and HIV both affect the brain. Research has shown that HIV causes greater neuronal injury and cognitive impairment among Methamphetamine abusers than among HIV patients who do not abuse drugs. In animal studies, Methamphetamine has been shown to increase the amount of HIV in brain cells.
  • Overall, the use of stimulants declined. Lifetime, past-year, and past-month amphetamine use declined among 10th-graders. methamphetamine (“ice”) use continues to decline – past-year use fell among 12th-graders, from 1.6 to 1.1 percent. Also, past-year crack cocaine use declined from 2007 to 2008 among 12th-graders, from 1.9 to 1.6 percent.
  • Positive trends include: the prevalence of the use of marijuana fell by 21 percent among 8th graders and 19 percent among 10th graders from 2001 to 2005, and lifetime abuse decreased significantly among 10th graders; lifetime and annual abuse of methamphetamines decreased significantly among 8th and 12th graders from 2004 to 2005; lifetime abuse of cigarettes decreased significantly among 8th and 12th graders from 2004 to 2005. Also, 12th graders had significant decreased in daily smoking and in smoking one or more packs a day.
  • In scientific studies examining the consequences of long-term methamphetamine exposure in animals, concern has arisen over its toxic effects on the brain. Researchers have reported that as much as 50 percent of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain can be damaged after prolonged exposure to relatively low levels of methamphetamine.
  • In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic methamphetamine abusers exhibit symptoms that can include violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping on the skin, which is called “formication”). The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
  • With chronic use, tolerance for methamphetamine can develop. In an effort to intensify the desired effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their method of drug intake. In some cases, abusers forego food and sleep while indulging in a form of binging known as a “run,” injecting as much as a gram of the drug every 2 to 3 hours over several days until the user runs out of the drug or is too disorganized to continue.
  • Different drugs have different effects. Some, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, may produce an intense “rush” and initial feelings of boundless energy. Others, such as heroin, benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin, may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. What most drugs have in common, though, is overstimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. With time, the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. This compelling urge to use, addiction, becomes more and more powerful, disrupting work, relationships, and health.
  • Drug abuse affects the brain and body directly. While high, the drug affects the entire body, from blood pressure to heart rate. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine “amp up” the body, increasing blood pressure, metabolism and reducing the ability to sleep. Drugs like opiates and barbiturates slow down the body, reducing blood pressure, breathing and alertness sometimes to dangerous levels.
  • Drug abuse can lower inhibitions and increase the possibility of violence. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can also trigger delusions, paranoia, and agitation, making the person especially dangerous to be around. Getting the drug may also become so important that activities like caring for a child fall by the wayside, increasing the chance of child neglect.
  • Due to its geographical location and extensive transportation infrastructure, the Houston Field Division in Texas continues to serve as a primary transshipment area for the bulk importation of most major categories of drugs to include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine. Drug smuggling and illicit transportation in this Division in Texas are primarily dominated by Mexican, Colombian and Dominican poly-drug trafficking organizations.
  • Drug smuggling and transportation in Texas are dominated by major Mexican trafficking organizations. These groups are poly-drug organizations smuggling methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for distribution in the Eastern, Southeastern, and Midwestern United States. The central location and proximity to the Mexican Border provide a natural advantage for drug distribution/transshipment throughout Texas and the United States.
  • Current investigations report that diversion of hydrocodone products and pseudoephedrine/ephedrine continues to be a problem in Tennessee, even though the state passed and signed into law the “Meth-Free Tennessee Act of 2005” in March 2005. This law limited the sale of the pseudoephedrine-containing products in TTennessee that meth cooks depend on for the production of methamphetamine, closed a loophole that allowed for personal use of methamphetamine, and required healthcare professionals to report meth lab-related burns and injuries to law enforcement.
  • Southeast Tennessee has had a significant increase in the activities of structured Mexican methamphetamine trafficking groups. These groups control most of the methamphetamine distribution in the Chattanooga area of Tennessee, but command and control for these Mexican organizations are frequently found in Dalton, Georgia.
  • The methamphetamine labs that are discovered in Tennessee are generally as small and unsophisticated. However, these clandestine methamphetamine labs continue to pose a significant threat because lab operators are frequently armed and substantially involved in the drug’s distribution and therefore tend to place booby traps around the sites.
  • Most of methamphetamine available in the Sioux Falls area of South Dakota appears to be distributed by long-time Caucasian residents and Mexican drug traffickers that are attempting to shield themselves from law enforcement detection within the area’s growing Hispanic communities.
  • An area of concern for cocaine in South Dakota is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. Methamphetamine is a problem in the area, however cocaine remains the drug of choice in many areas on this reservation and is readily available.
  • Methamphetamine has been brought to the attention of the public in South Dakota through an increasingly aware media, informed public officials from the local to national level, and concerned citizens. Public efforts are underway in South Dakota by law enforcement, politicians, social service agencies and the media to further educate the public to the dangers of methamphetamine use and abuse.
  • There has been mounting evidence of organizational activity in South Carolina extending to major distribution hubs, such as New York City (cocaine and heroin), southern Florida (cocaine and Ecstasy), southern Texas/Mexico (cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine), and southern California (methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine). Investigations are becoming more complex and cross various jurisdictions in South Carolina and nationwide jurisdictions.
  • Intelligence has cited an increase in popularity of methamphetamine in the downtown Philadelphia nightclub scene of Pennsylvania. In addition, high purity Ice has been increasing in popularity among all age groups, in many geographic areas in Pennsylvania.
  • Though not nearly as popular as heroin, cocaine, or crack cocaine, methamphetamine is an attractive drug because of its longer lasting high and because users can easily produce their own methamphetamine with readily available recipes, precursor chemicals or ingredients, and equipment.
  • Investigations continue to reveal that small-scale laboratories exist in Pennsylvania in residences and motel rooms in cities and towns throughout the state. These laboratories are responsible for the vast majority of methamphetamine laboratories seized in Pennsylvania and the majority of methamphetamine available in western Pennsylvania. However, the production output of these laboratories account for only a small percentage of the methamphetamine consumed in all of Pennsylvania.
  • The availability of methamphetamine in Pennsylvania is low compared to the midwestern and western United States, however investigations and reports from state and local law enforcement in Pennsylvania confirm the eastward movement of methamphetamine production into Pennsylvania.
  • Intelligence indicates that trafficking organizations from California and Mexico transport methamphetamine into Pennsylvania using a variety of methods, including private vehicles, commercial bus luggage, and packages shipped via express mail and parcel services.
  • Methamphetamine and methamphetamine abuse and trafficking are a significant problem in Pennsylvania, as shown by an increase in new methamphetamine investigations and a substantial increase in overall methamphetamine seizures from fiscal year 2004 to present.
  • The diversion of methamphetamine precursor chemicals such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and anhydrous ammonia, as well as the discovery of clandestine laboratories, remain a problem in western Pennsylvania, and significant investigations of internet pharmacies continues.
  • Oregon legislators enacted several laws directed at reducing methamphetamine availability and local production. In July 2006, products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing, became Schedule III controlled substances, available only by prescription.
  • The average lab manufacturing sentence in Oklahoma is approximately 20 years. House Bill 2316 passed the Oklahoma House and Senate in May 2002 and went in to effect on July 1, 2002. This new law puts a 24 gram cap on all cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. The charge carries a five year maximum sentence. If a retailer knowingly distributes pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine with the knowledge that it will be used to manufacture methamphetamine, the sentence carries a maximum of ten years incarceration. House Bill 1326, effective July 1, 2003 requires state registration (mirroring Federal Law) for the handling/distribution of products containing Pseudoephedrine at both the wholesale and retail levels. Ephedrine has been a Schedule IV controlled substance in the State of Oklahoma since 1996.
  • Over the past several years, the Oklahoma Legislature has passed many laws regarding methamphetamine and its precursor chemicals. These include adding penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of minors; possessing or distributing methamphetamine in the vicinity of schools, public parks, public pools or on a marked school bus; and for tampering with anhydrous ammonia equipment. Any possession of anhydrous ammonia in unapproved containers is considered evidence of manufacture. Any possession of three (3) ingredients including as iodine, red phosphorous and ether is considered prima facie evidence of intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
  • In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or “MET”. This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. There have been six MET deployments in the State of Oklahoma since the inception of the program. In March 2005, the METs prioritized investigations to target and dismantle methamphetamine trafficking organizations and clandestine laboratory operators in Oklahoma. At least five of the MET deployments in Oklahoma targeted methamphetamine trafficking organizations.
  • The amount of local small “mom and pop” methamphetamine laboratories has decreased significantly over the last two years in Oklahoma. This decline is due mainly to the passage of Pseudoephedrine Control Laws in mid-2004. Since these laws were passed, the number of labs seized has decreased by approximately 90% in the State of Oklahoma. Over 90% of the labs seized since 2004 in Oklahoma are non-operational: either a dumpsite or glassware only.
  • North Dakota is covered by the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), along with Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The Midwest HIDTA has established four initiatives in North Dakota: Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bismarck, Fargo (DEA Task Force), and Grand Forks. The Midwest HIDTA was originally created to concentrate on fighting the overwhelming increase in the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Accordingly, Midwest HIDTA is funding methamphetamine investigations allowing law enforcement agencies to investigate poly-drug trafficking groups.
  • The decline in thefts of anhydrous is a direct result of the North Dakota?s State General Assembly passing legislation requiring every individual purchasing a product containing pseudoephedrine must show photo identification. This legislation has dramatically decreased methamphetamine labs in North Dakota.
  • Mexican money-launderers use their North Carolina bases to consolidate illegal drug proceeds, and then forward bulk shipments back to the Southwest Border and Mexico. Their concealment methods usually are the same as those used to transport cocaine and methamphetamine into North Carolina via passenger and commercial vehicles.
  • Local and state agencies in North Carolina report that MDMA use is escalating, arriving from trafficking networks in Canada via New York and California; however, it does not pose near the equivalent threat to most North Carolina communities as does cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
  • Most of the methamphetamine in North Carolina is transported into the state in multi-pound quantities from Mexico through the Southwest Border states, but a significant amount also comes from Mexican sources of supply based in the Atlanta metropolitan/northern Georgia area.
  • Local methamphetamine production is waning in North Carolina, though Mexican-manufactured methamphetamine, primarily in theline form (Ice), is easily available in the large metropolitan centers of the state, and increasingly in rural communities in North Carolina.
  • Local production of methamphetamine was a statewide problem in North Carolina; however, seizures stabilized by the end of 2005 because of coordinated law enforcement operations, and federal and state laws that govern the sale of precursor chemicals such as pseudoephedrine, iodine, and anhydrous ammonia.
  • In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or “MET”. This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. The MET deployments in New Mexico to Roswell and Farmington targeted methamphetamine trafficking organizations.
  • Methamphetamine investigations are most prevalent in the area known as the Four Corners region where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet to form a common border and along the eastern New Mexico/Texas border. Small, clandestine laboratories set up in remote, rural locations are popular in this area.
  • While clandestine lab seizures in New Mexico have dropped significantly over the last year (- 200% according to statistics gotten from the Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System), referral seizures involving Mexican produced methamphetamine have risen dramatically at Border Patrol Checkpoints and highway interdiction stops in New Mexico.
  • Filipino traffickers are importing large amounts of methamphetamine into New Jersey from Mexico and the Philippines. The methamphetamine is converted to “ice” in the Los Angeles area and then brought into the New York/New Jersey area via motor vehicle. The ice is also shipped through various mail and parcel services to New Jersey. Due to successful enforcement actions, the ice is being sent to states off the normal trafficking routes and then transported by car to the New Jersey area.
  • The Clark County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in Nevada was established by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2001 to fight the influx of drug trafficking in southern Nevada. In order to help solve the meth problem in southern Nevada, a HIDTA initiative, the Southern Nevada Joint Methamphetamine Task Force, was created to address domestic trafficking organizations and career criminal enterprises which are involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine and the transport and distribution of meth and precursor chemicals within and through the HIDTA area of operation. The primary focus of this task force will be the dismantling and federal prosecution of these organized drug and precursor chemical trafficking groups.
  • Local laboratory operators in Missouri continue to obtain the necessary ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine through “smurfing” (going from store to store, purchasing the maximum allowable amounts), and through theft of ingredients such as anhydrous ammonia.
  • The western half of the state of Missouri is overwhelmed by “ice” methamphetamine, supplied by organizations based out of Mexico, California, and the southwest United States, and brought to Missouri by the traditional highway transportation organizations.
  • The Gulf Coast HIDTA hosts the following DEA initiatives in Mississippi: Major Investigations Team, Pearl, Mississippi, North Mississippi Methamphetamine Enforcement Team, Oxford, Mississippi, Tri-County Major Investigations Team, Gulfport, Mississippi.
  • The methamphetamine threat in Minnesota is two-fold. First, large amounts of methamphetamine produced by Mexican organizations based in California or Washington are transported into and distributed throughout Minnesota. Mexican traffickers typically send methamphetamine from California via bulk transportation and courier with some smaller amounts being sent through the U.S. mail or Federal Express. Second, methamphetamine is being produced in small laboratories in Minnesota, capable of producing only a few ounces at a time.
  • Based on drug trafficking statistics, in 2002, specifically due to the increased production of methamphetamine in the western portion of Michigan, additional funding was secured from ONDCP to expand HIDTA. This expansion included the five counties of Allegan, Genesee, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Van Buren, Michigan. The HIDTA is now known as the Michigan HIDTA and its area of responsibility includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Detroit and accounts for approximately 60 percent of the population of Michigan.
  • Over the past several years, legislation in Kansas has limited the ability of local laboratory operators to purchase the pseudoephedrine products necessary to produce methamphetamine, but small toxic laboratories are still operating throughout Kansas.
  • There are large Mexican communities throughout Iowa and a significant illegal immigrant problem, mainly with Mexican nationals. These communities provide Mexican traffickers with a ready-made pipeline and infrastructure to distribute methamphetamine in Iowa.
  • Informant and defendant interviews have brought to light that many users in the Sioux City, Iowa area not willing to pay for the higher priced methamphetamine, which has decreased in purity during the past two years, and have returned to lower quality powder methamphetamine. However, this is not the case in central Iowa where almost all methamphetamine seized is methamphetamine, and purities have remained stable.
  • The local methamphetamine distributors operating small toxic labs, usually constructed in barns or residential homes, sell a higher quality product with purity between 30 to 40 percent. These local Indiana labs produce enough methamphetamine for personal use and small sell amounts.
  • There is increasing evidence that methamphetamine is being distributed in the Chicago area of Illinois, which is probably the result of rising availability of the drug as more Mexico-produced methamphetamine meant for markets in other areas transits to Chicago.
  • Illinois is faced with a two-pronged methamphetamine problem. First, large amounts of methamphetamine produced by Mexico-based DTOS are brought into Illinois from California and Mexico. They use the same means of distribution used for other drugs brought into Illinois.
  • Over the past year, there has been a decrease in the quality and quantity of methamphetamine in Idaho. There has also been an increase in the price of methamphetamine in Idaho. This is the result of aggressive domestic law enforcement targeting and a crack down by Mexican law enforcement on the importation of precursor chemicals, and methamphetamine labs in that country.
  • Similar to the methamphetamine trade, Asian syndicates are primarily responsible for the trafficking of YABA in Hawaii. Approximately 500 YABA tablets were seized in Guam (2003) during an inspection of a military aircraft. The YABA was destined for Hawaii from Thailand.
  • Guamanians residing in the mainland of Hawaii often acquire methamphetamine and mail it to family members in Guam who sell the drug for increased profit. Monetary proceeds are then mailed back to the mainland via FEDEX, UPS, USPS, or laundered through wire remitters or bank accounts.
  • A majority of the methamphetamine abuse in Hawaii is attributed to the DTOs with strong domestic and international organized crime enterprises. Mexican organizations have become more involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamine in Hawaii. It seems that the majority of the methamphetamine available in Hawaii is produced in Mexico and California. Mexican DTOs smuggle the drug to Hawaii from California through the HIA via couriers on commercial flights, and mailed parcels (FEDEX and UPS).
  • There is an increase in cocaine trafficking, including crack cocaine, in Hawaii due to the current shortage of methamphetamine available statewide. In addition, some methamphetamine dealers in Hawaii are reportedly reverting to cocaine distribution due to the perception of there being “less heat” than with meth.
  • Methamphetamine laboratories located within the State of Georgia have declined since legislation was enacted in 2005 to restrict the sale of over-the-counter products containing pseudoephedrine, which is one of the essential chemicals used in producing methamphetamine. On the other hand, there has also been a corresponding increase in the availability of methamphetamine-Ice in the Atlanta metropolitan area in Georgia.
  • Mexican traffickers and Mexican DTOs continue to play an increasingly bigger role in the importation and distribution of illegal drugs within Atlanta Division Office in Georgia. Mexican poly-drug organizations are the largest foreign threat in the state, mainly trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. Mexican traffickers now supply kilogram quantities of cocaine HCl directly to local crack cocaine dealers in Georgia.
  • There are 9.3 million legal residents in the state of Georgia, and Hispanics comprise over 5 percent of the population. Growth of the Hispanic population in Georgia has been aided by an influx of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico. Intelligence currently shows that as the Mexican immigrant community has grown, so too has the presence of Mexican traffickers. Mexican poly-drug organizations have been identified as the largest foreign threat in the State of Georgia, predominantly trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. Moreover, Mexican traffickers now supply kilogram quantities of cocaine HCl directly to local crack cocaine dealers.
  • Methamphetamine labs became a widespread problem in Florida in 2002, when there were 129 labs. In 2006, there were 245 labs in Florida. The majority of the labs are small-scale, producing gram amounts up to a maximum of 1-2 ounces per cook. Danger lies in the quantity of meth produced, but more importantly in number of labs and the consequences of them. Most labs are set up anywhere and are almost always portable. They have been found and seized in mobile homes, hotel rooms, outdoor areas and near schools.
  • Alanta has become a new threat and has recently been involved in the distribution of methamphetamine in Florida. methamphetamine, with high purity levels, is transported from Atlanta into northern Florida and then distributed throughout the state.
  • Methamphetamine is transported into Florida in multi-pound increments by Mexican DTOs based along the Southwest Border and California. Methamphetamine produced in super labs in Texas and California is brought into Florida along the Interstate-10 corridor.
  • Mexican DTOs have recently made headway in drug trafficking into Florida, and are responsible for the smuggling and distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine (i.e. methamphetamine) and marijuana throughout large portions of the state ? from the Panhandle of Florida to as far south as Palm Beach County.
  • Methamphetamine is not nearly as popular as heroin, cocaine, or crack cocaine in Delaware. However, methamphetamine is attractive because of its longer lasting high and because users in can easily produce their own methamphetamine with readily available recipes, precursor chemicals or ingredients, and equipment.
  • Methamphetamine is also made available in Delaware by major trafficking organizations operating in California and Mexico. Intelligence indicates that these organizations transport methamphetamine into Delaware using a variety of methods, including private vehicles, commercial bus luggage, and packages shipped via express mail and parcel services.
  • Another concern to Delaware law enforcement officials is the availability of various drugs to teenagers and young adults during the summer months at Rehoboth Beach. It has come to light recently that the influx of visitors to this beach community in Delaware during the summer results in an increased availability of methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and GHB to individuals who go to nightclubs or attend rave parties there.
  • A 2003 Denver, Colorado MET deployment, which assisted a local task force in the investigation of a Denver area Mexican methamphetamine trafficking organization, resulted in the arrests of 21 individuals and the seizure of 9 pounds of methamphetamine in Colorado. The methamphetamine seized and purchased through undercover buys was consistently in excess of 90 percent pure.
  • Three recent MET deployments in Colorado have specifically targeted methamphetamine trafficking organizations in Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Boulder County. During 2006, the MET deployed in Summit County to dismantle multiple poly-drug distributors, resulting in 34 arrests.
  • Restrictions on pseudoephedrine importation into Mexico, balance-of-power issues among rival Mexican cartels, and increased enforcement efforts by the current Mexican government have all significantly impacted methamphetamine manufacturing and the smuggling of finished product into the Los Angeles, California area.
  • Each year, tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana and hundreds of kilograms of cocaine are seized in Arkansas. Most large seizures involve tractor-trailers, although private vehicles are also used, particularly methamphetamine seizures. Large quantities of drugs are also seized from other forms of transportation including commercial air and bus service.
  • Virtually all of the methamphetamine coming into Alabama is brought in by Mexican DTOs from Mexico and Texas and distribution points in Atlanta, Georgia. There are independent dealers who obtain lesser amounts in Atlanta for personal use with a small amount for distribution to cover the expense of the drugs.
  • Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by paranoia, picking at the skin, preoccupation with one’s own thoughts, and auditory and visual hallucinations. Violent and erratic behavior is frequently seen among chronic abusers of amphetamines, especially methamphetamine.Methamphetamine, in all its forms, is highly addictive and toxic.
  • Methamphetamine acts as a multi-pronged threat in Texas. It is available in multiple kilogram quantities in Texas. Most of methamphetamine seized comes from Mexico, but arrives in New Mexico from distributors in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ. Methamphetamine investigations are especially prevalent in the area known as the Four Corners Region where the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet to form a common border and along the eastern New Mexico/Texas border. Small, clandestine laboratories are popular in the area, especially in remote, rural locations in New Mexico. In Southern New Mexico, closer to Las Cruces and El Paso, the current preferred process is the “Birch method”, that uses chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, to process methamphetamine. Use of the “Birch method” is believed to be an attempt by small laboratory operators to acquire non-controlled chemicals for production, in order to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
  • The methamphetamine supplied by these organizations has increased in price in the last year in Utah. In several recent investigations, traffickers charged $1,100 per ounce of methamphetamine, as compared to as little as $650-$700 per ounce in late 2005.
  • Methamphetamine is not readily available throughout Vermont; although three clandestine methamphetamine laboratories were seized, one in October 2007, September 2005 and another in June 2004, prior to the seizure in 2004, the last seizure of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in Vermont occurred in 1990.
  • The Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia hosts the highest percentage of methamphetamine abusers in the state, and was the first area of Virginia to receive a huge influx of Mexican immigrants, whose presence encouraged an expansion of existing Mexican drug-trafficking networks.
  • Methamphetamine manufacture previously appeared to be centered in the Panhandle region of West Virginia, it has apparently expanded to include other areas of northern West Virginia as well as some clandestine laboratory sites in the southeastern portion of the state bordering Kentucky and Virginia.
  • Three types of organizations are responsible for the majority of the transportation and wholesale distribution of drugs in Wisconsin: Mexican drug trafficking organizations that transport cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine; Nigerian criminal groups that distribute Southwest Asian heroin; and Dominican criminal groups that distribute cocaine and South American heroin.
  • Given the uncertainty in estimating the costs of methamphetamine use in the U.S., researchers created a range of estimates. The lowest estimate for the cost of methamphetamine use in 2005 was $16.2 billion, while $48.3 billion was the highest estimate. Researchers’ best estimate of the overall economic burden in the United States of methamphetamine use and abuse is $23.4 billion.
  • Crime and criminal justice expenses account for the second-largest category of economic costs, according to researchers. These costs include the burden of arresting and incarcerating drug offenders, as well as the costs of additional non-drug crimes caused by methamphetamine use, such as thefts committed to support a drug habit.
  • Methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance that can be taken orally, injected, snorted or smoked. While national surveys suggest that methamphetamine use is far from common, there is evidence that the harms of methamphetamine may be concentrated in certain regions. One indicator of the problem locally is treatment admissions. Methamphetamine was the primary drug of abuse in 59 percent of the treatment admissions in Hawaii in 2004 and accounted for 38 percent of such admissions in Arizona in 2004.
  • The number of recent new users of methamphetamine nonmedically was 318,000 in 2004. Between 2002 and 2004, the number of methamphetamine initiates remained level at around 300,000 per year. The average age of new users was 18.9 years in 2002, 20.4 years in 2003, and 22.1 years in 2004.
  • The number of recent new users of methamphetamine nonmedically was 318,000 in 2004. Between 2002 and 2004, the number of methamphetamine initiates remained level at around 300,000 per year. The average age of new users was 18.9 years in 2002, 20.4 years in 2003, and 22.1 years in 2004.
  • Know the risks. There are a lot of risks associated with using methamphetamine, including: Meth can cause a severe “crash” after the effects wear off. Meth use can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain. Meth users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS. Look around you. Everybody doesn’t think it’s okay to take methamphetamine. A 1999 National High School Survey indicates that over 80 percent of teens disapprove of using meth even once or twice.
  • Methamphetamine affects your brain. In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria, and depression. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, and permanent psychological damage. Methamphetamine affects your body. Over “amping” on any type of speed is pretty risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it’s meant to go. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.
  • Methamphetamine affects your self-control. Meth may be as addictive as crack and more powerful. Methamphetamine is not what it seems. Even speed drugs are not always safe. Giga-jolts of the well-known stimulants caffeine or ephedrine can cause stroke or cardiac arrest when overused or used by people with a sensitivity to them. Methamphetamine can kill you. An overdose of meth can result in heart failure. Long-term physical effects such as liver, kidney, and lung damage may also kill you.
  • Know the law. Methamphetamine is illegal in all states and highly dangerous. Get the facts. The ignitable, corrosive, and toxic nature of the chemicals used to produce meth can cause fires, produce toxic vapors, and damage the environment. Stay informed. Ninety-two percent of methamphetamine deaths reported in 1994 involved meth in combination with another drug, such as alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.
  • Cocaine dependence is a chronically relapsing disorder leading to a variety of medical complications along with devastating psychosocial consequences. It remains a major public health problem bearing enormous societal costs and is currently afflicting over 1.5 million American citizens. Thus, epidemiological data presented at the recent Community Epidemiology Work Group meeting indicate that in a number of major US cities, representing 21 geographic areas, hospital admissions for primary cocaine-related problems exceeded those for heroin, methamphetamine and marihuana, altogether.
  • Stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine can produce euphoric effects. Smoking or injecting these drugs cause an intense, immediate “rush” that lasts just a few minutes. Snorting or swallowing these drugs produces a high that is less intense but lasts longer.
  • Methamphetamine can also cause a variety of heart problems, including rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and irreversible, stroke-producing damage to small blood vessels in the brain. It can also cause high blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Methamphetamine can also increase body temperature, which can be lethal if not treated rapidly.
  • Use of methamphetamine over time may cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Heavy users may also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping on the skin, called “formication”). The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
  • Stimulants often produce a feeling of euphoria in users. Examples of stimulants include cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamines, Methamphetamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin®), nicotine, and MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxyMethamphetamine, better known as Ecstasy).
  • Amphetamines are sometimes prescribed by doctors for medical problems, but these pills are also abused for their effects on the brain. Methamphetamine is a powerful form of amphetamines that comes in clears or powder and easily dissolves in water or alcohol. It is often made in illegal laboratories with inexpensive and readily available ingredients (such as drain cleaner, battery acid, and antifreeze).
  • The first national addiction survey in Mexico was made in 1988 and financed by the Secretariat of Health and the narcotics bureau of the U.S.A. Embassy in Mexico. Marijuana, inhalants and tranquilizers were the most important drugs, along with tobacco and alcohol. Compared to the consumption in the U.S.A., the rate in Mexico was less than one tenth for each drug and age group. A second survey was made in 1993. Urban population aged 12-65 years old (3.9% of the urban population) declared having used illicit drugs, inhalants included, at least once. On the northern border, Tijuana is ranked first in drug use. In 1988, cocaine use was 0.14%, in 1993 it was 0.3%. Mexicali, Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez were the cities where more patients attended by the Centros de Integración Juvenil-CIJ (1995) declared having used cocaine. According to the 1993 survey, heroin use is very low. Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez are mentioned. CIJ statistics include Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Mexicali, Chihuahua, Culiacán and Hermosillo. Marijuana use was 2.9% in 1988, and 3.3% in 1993. Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez appeared again as the most important cities. CIJ reports cases, not very sensitive at the national level, of methamphetamine use in Tijuana, Mexicali, Culiacán and Toluca. Crack is also rare and has been reported in Baja California, Estado de México and Mexico City.
  • According to the DEA, methamphetamine had appealed to a relatively small number of users until the mid-1990’s, when it emerged as a major drug of choice. The 1998 National Household Survey estimated that 4.7 million Americans tried methamphetamine in their lifetime. This figure shows a marked increase from the 1994 estimate of 3.8 million. It is used most commonly in the western states, though it seems to be spreading eastward. In 1998, meth labs were, for the first time, found in New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts.
  • Although the tri-border region of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos accounts for the majority of heroin production in Southeast Asia, the amount of heroin produced in the area has decreased by approximately 70% over the last five years. In 2004, Myanmar and Laos accounted for nearly the entire heroin produced in the region. Eradication efforts and the enforcement of poppy-free zones have combined to depress cultivation levels for the last four years, although the decline in heroin production is being offset by an increase in the production of methamphetamine (yaba). Myanmar’s opium is grown primarily in the border region of Shan State in areas controlled by former insurgent groups.
  • As the popularity of synthetic drugs has grown , seizure rates have increased concurrently. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the worldwide number of users of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) is higher than the combined number of heroin and cocaine users. The UNODC further reports that the seizure of ATS drugs is second only to the worldwide seizures of cannabis (both herbal and resin form). Information reported by INTERPOL member countries confirms the widespread production and trafficking of ATS. The global emergence of synthetic drugs is a concern for all international law enforcement authorities. While the ‘ rave ’ phenomenon served as the impetus for the proliferation of Ecstasy (MDMA) trafficking and use, it also led to the introduction of other club drugs and resurgence of methamphetamine use. Although amphetamines such as MDMA are primarily considered drug s abuse d among young adults, there are increasing reports of adult use.
  • Although there are significant differences in the sophistication of clandestine laboratories, particularly between the production of MDMA and methamphetamine, clandestine laboratories can be located anywhere in the world, because of the diversion of essential chemicals from their lawful destinations.

Meth Withdrawal

Meth withdrawal can last days or weeks, depending on how long one has been an addict. It is important to remember that all drugs (but ESPECIALLY this one) change the chemistry of the user’s brain. People who use meth habitually tend to develop a higher tolerance for the drug. This means that it takes more of the drug to get the same “high” or results. Chronic users are subject to violent and self-destructive behaviors even if they do not intend to do such things. Once tolerance has commenced in a person’s body, meth addiction is soon to follow. Meth withdrawal takes place when users are trying to stay off the drug or stops using the drug for an extended period of time. Once a person has stopped putting meth into his or her body, the body reacts because it is so used to having the drug to function. Drug withdrawal can be a painful process and many people choose to continue doing drugs instead of going through the uncomfortable feelings of the withdrawal process. Meth is not known to be physically addictive. In most cases it takes between twenty four and forty eight hours for the drug to process through a person’s system after the last dose is taken. While meth withdrawal symptoms can be very intense, they are generally psychological in nature.

The addict going through the withdrawal process will experience anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, and experience intense cravings for the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can be addressed through the use of various vitamins, talk therapy, rest, daily exercise, and a healthy nutritional program. While the actual symptoms associated with withdrawal subside within three days, the addict will still experience periods of emotional upheaval and cravings for the drug long after their last use. The most common meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Hyperventilation
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Nausea
  • Sweats

Because of the severity of these symptoms, many people choose to enter addiction treatment programs to assist them in coping with meth withdrawal. In addition to withdrawal, methamphetamine affects many other areas of a person’s life. People addicted to amphetamines tend to spend most of their finances on obtaining the drug. The often have difficulty maintaining employment due to their loss of concentration, motivation, and depression. Meth users also commonly experience deterioration in their personal relationships as their paranoia and need for isolation increases.