What Is Meth and Why Is It So Dangerous?

You may have been wondering what is meth and why it’s so dangerous. Crystal methamphetamine, or meth, is a crystallized, concentrated form of illicitly manufactured methamphetamine. It is an extremely dangerous drug that can give the user an intense high for not much money. It’s also known as speed, glass, ice and crank. Those use meth are at risk for cardiovascular diseases, mental health issues,
personal ruin and death.

How is Crystal Meth Made?

Most of the meth in the United States comes from criminal organizations in Mexico and is distributed throughout the country, though some is produced in the US in small labs. Technology has advanced greatly through the years and currently, meth is very inexpensive to produce. It’s also pure and very powerful. Meth is made in small laboratories with ingredients that can be easily obtained, such as pseudoephedrine, which is in many cold medications. After it’s produced, it is smuggled into the United States in liquid or powder form and labs called “conversion labs” change this substance into the crystal meth that users purchase. Some of the other chemicals used are acetone, ether and anhydrous ammonia, which are all extremely hazardous. Meth can also be laced with with fentanyl, which is an addictive opioid narcotic.

The Dangers of Meth Addiction

Even one dose of crystal meth can kill. Harmful effects include increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as irregular heart beat, heart attack, stroke, hemorrhaging in the brain, hypothermia, collapsed lungs and other respiratory problems. Perfectly healthy individuals who use meth can experience any of these effects, or even sudden death, as it can damage every system in the body.

How Methamphetamine Works

Meth releases chemicals called catecholamines in the brain. They are fight or flight chemicals released during times of stress. Catecholamines in the brain are dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine levels raise significantly after meth use. It is part of what makes meth so addictive, as it gives feelings of pleasure, making the user want to use more and more.

Find Treatment

Meth use can find their entire lives taken over by this drug. Pursuing the next high quickly becomes an all-consuming part of life for the user. Meth damages cognitive ability and lowers impulse control and many users find themselves doing anything, including and especially illegal acts, to buy more and more meth. If you have any questions you’d like to discuss about achieving sobriety, our counselors are available to help 24 hours a day. Call 833-846-5669.