Methamphetamine is highly addictive drug which is known to affect the central nervous system. It is described as a Schedule two stimulant meaning that it has a very high likelihood being misused and it can only be obtained through prescription which can not be refilled. The medical uses of methamphetamine are somehow limited and the dosage is rather much lower compared to the amount that is usually abused. Most of the drug that is abused usually comes from domestic laboratories or is sneaked in from other countries.
Schleifer Jay (1999) in his introduction to the book Methamphetamine lists some of the name into which this drug has been nicknamed in the streets. It is known by such names as speed, meth, LA glass and ice. (p 9). According to schleifer methamphetamine is a class of drugs which are referred to as stimulant. Drugs in this class have the ability to speed up mental and physical processes such as thinking, heart rate and basically the whole body activity (p 11)
The basic amphetamine was made in 1887 though it was not widely used until later in 1932 when it was used to help asthmatic people through speeding up air passage opening. The drug gained prominence during the Second World War when pilots used it in pill form so that they can remain alert in the course of the battle. Its usage continued even after the war as pilots and long distance truck drivers used the drug to remain alert in the course of their duties. There were several accidents which were reported involving those who used it in their duties prompting its ban for this group of people while working.
(Schleifer, J 1999 12)Those people who were aiming to cut off some weight turned to the usage of this drug. Students and athletes found the drug effective during their normal activities, students used it to stay awake as they did their night long studies, and athletes found it useful as it increased their performance. In the 1960s the drug began to be used for recreation purposes. There were reported cases of death due to the overdose of the drug. Up to this day the drug has become common among the drug users who use it to achieve various recreational purposes.
According to National Drug Intelligence Center’s drug threat assessment carried in Colorado methamphetamine pose a great danger as it usage has increased especially among the youth across all racial groups. The drug is readily available in most places within the state. It was found that mostly the drug is obtained from Mexico, California and Arizona. The drug is produced by criminal groups in Mexico who later transport it to the various destinations within the state.
The assessment found out that methamphetamine abuse has been increasing in this state with the hospital admission due to its complication rising from 1748 in 1997 to 2037 in 2001. Admissions related to its abuse have been relatively increasing since 1999 when compared to other substances abused such as cocaine and heroine. There has been increased number of emergency calls to the drug. Most of the calls have been noted to come from unknown callers something which can be attributed to the increased public awareness on dangers and warnings of the drug’s abuse.
It has been noted that the drug is mostly used in the public venues, homes and other private places allover the state. Methamphetamine usage in the state has risen to almost four percent higher than the prevalent national average among the young people aged between eighteen and twenty five years. The available statistics show that the number of females using the drug is in the same proportion as men. There has been noted increase in the usage of the drug among the Hispanic population in the state. Increased methamphetamine poses a great danger to the community since the drug has serious health implications among the users.
Measures should be taken to control the sad state of affairs so that the youth does not indulge into this bad habit and those who are already in it can be rescued and put into the program where they can be assisted to abandon this life threatening behavior. The effects of this drug are more than imagined, the society will ultimately suffer from a problem that is initially regarded as personal but soon escalates to affect the whole community. For the users they start as a recreation activity but soon get out of hand and they can no longer control their bad habit as they have become addicts.
At this point if help is not forthcoming the serious health complications which can eventually lead to death set in. (Covey H 2007 190) Given the shocking statistics of the increasing number of the drug users in this state it is the high time that all came together to fight this menace in the community. But we can only do this if we understand the serious implications involved as a result of its usage. As far as health complications are concerned it has been noted that the drug can kill very quickly especially if it affects the cardiovascular system.
We should not wait for the situation to get out of hand rather we should act fast and control the situation. The social effects of this substance abuse have more reaching effects than one can imagine. It can cost a generation hence the need to educate our children on the effects of this habit. A generation of methamphetamine users means other aspects of life will be affected too. When our young people engage in its use it signifies there is a deeper problem than we can see on the surface. Instead of handling the problem that affects them head on they turn to quick solutions as taught by the society.
Some of the quick fix like this substance abuse always adds to the problem at hand making the situation more complex. Those people who use this drug to enhance their performance have been on the increase in the state. This is happening to most athletes who want to beat their competition using some dubious means. This shows how the society has rotten where we are ready to use unorthodox means to become successful, but what starts as an urge to become popular is ending in a disaster. (Covey,H 2007 193)
Deaths are not only occurring due to the health complications as a result of this drug usage but also due to numerous accidents which are caused by automobiles drivers who are high on the substance. These accidents are alarming such that the state has come up with laws prohibiting the usage of the substance while working or driving. Other effects posed by the usage of this dangerous substance have to do with the spreading of diseases for those who inject themselves. In most cases they share the needles exposing themselves to infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
This will only worsen the situation since some of these diseases are difficulty to treat and are highly infectious within the population. Those who use this drug are known to get some sexual energy which led to their engagement into risky sexual behavior study carried out revealed that most of these users rarely use protection in such occasions further exposing themselves to other dangers. (Rasmussen,N 2008 56) The costs involved in the treatment of the meth addict are high such that it eats on the family savings. They incur a lot of cost as they seek for medical intervention for their kins.
These are funds which could have been used for other family needs therefore a drug addict usually becomes a burden to the family through engagement in a habit which has no benefit at all. The family also suffers psychologically when one of them is going through the process. At times the same individuals may become violent hurting the same people whom they are supposed to defend. These effects have a serious implication in the society since they make it sick also. (Landau,E 2007 80) Environmental pollution is another direct effect of this drug, this happens during its production.
This is usually carried out in unsafe conditions especially at home. This exposes the whole family to the effects of this drug including the children who can be serious affected by the substance. It has been noted that each gram of methamphetamine that it produced under this conditions leave behind wanton destruction of environment due to the toxic waste produced. Most of these places do not have the proper wastage disposal systems and end up draining the waste in open further jeopardizing the health of the people who use the facilities. The waste product has lasting effects on the soil as they are known to remain intact for a long period.
the cost involved in cleaning up such kind of mess are high therefore the state authorities will be required to put some money into use to clear a mess that have been caused by this irresponsible behavior. Such funds would have been used to finance other activities. (Landau,E 2007 81) The serious problem posed by the use of meth need a concerted effort from all the quarters so that we can free our state from the menace. The involvement of all the stakeholders will go a long way in addressing the issue at hand giving it a multidisplinary approach. This will help solve the problem in all aspects instead of treating the symptoms alone.
First we need to establish the real cause of the problem. Why are our youth engaging in this risky behaviour? This is pertinent question which needs to be answered so that we can solve part of the larger problem afflicting our society. There is a need to carry out program which aim at educating the young people on the dangers of this drug while at the same time giving necessary information to those who are already in to this problem. Engaging the youth should also involve their full participation in the program where they help each other in avoiding situations that can lead to the problem.
Encouraging them to adopt a health program such as sports and other community projects will help those who may be influenced to indulge in substance abuse to channel their energies elsewhere and put it into constructive use. (Rasmussen,N 2008 45) The authorities need to come up with strict laws that will help in curbing the production and trafficking of the drug. This is usually done by criminal gangs which need to be dismantled. The justice system needs to strengthen so that it can handle these criminals who are a big threat to out society effectively.
The system should ensure that those convicted of the trafficking of this substance get heavy penalties so that they can learn lessons and stop the practice. Those who have been imprisoned due to the criminal activities attributed to the substance abuse should be helped to stop the bad habit through the rehabilitation program. The same people should be used to sensitize the communities on the dangers of indulging into such activites. Such a program can work very effectively since these people will be using their experiences to warn others against abuse of this dangerous drug.
(Committee on government Reform 2006) The involvement of the community has proven successful in the war against drug use. First it should be empowered to deal with the problem effectively through offering education which will help in creating awareness. This will go a long way in identifying cases which require special attention and prompt action taken before it is too late. Community will also help the law enforcement agencies in getting information concerning those who are involved in the production and distribution of the drug. (Johnson,D 2005 37)
Methamphetamine is abused together with other substance and their usage has been on the increase also. Combining the fight against all the other substances abuse will yield fruits and help solve the mess that has engulfed our society for so long. There is need to establish some networks which will work hand in hand with the community and security enforcement officers. This will be an approach which will ensure that the necessary information gets to the community as well as law enforcement officers for the proper action to be taken.
When the community is empowered with such networks they will work hard to get rid of any problem that is threatening their livelihood. There is a need to involve the large community in every process of this response since they are the people on the ground and they can gather as much information as possible therefore helping towards wiping out this problem among them. There is need to put up some machinery which can help detect when the drugs have been entered into the state as well as the channels used by the criminals.
The cartels which involve rich members of the community need to be dismantled and handled by the necessary justice system. It is only through such an approach where everybody is involved will the war against this dangerous substance will be won. We can not afford loosing this fight, because this will mean that our young people will continue being sent to the early graves by a problem which we have the power to tackle. Through concerted efforts and the political will we will conquer this problem. Work Cited Schleifer, Jay.
Methamphitamine, Rosen Publishing Inc (1999) Covey, Herbert. The Methamphetamine Crisis, Greenwood Publishing co. (2007) Landau, Elaine. America’s Drug Epidemic, Twenty First Century Books (2007) Rasmussen, N. On Speed: The many Lives of Amphetamine, NYU Press (2008) Johnson, D. Meth: The Home-cooked Menace, Hazelden (2005) Committee on government Reforms, The Methamphetamine Epidemic in Colorado serial no 109 225(2006) Colorado Senate News, GOP Crack Down on Meth, 31st March 2006, retrieved from http://www. coloradosenatenews. com/content/view/766/26/