Drug abuse has become a national crisis in the United States. Although opioids are the most often cited source of drug-related deaths, methamphetamines are some of the most dangerous drugs in the world, with severe short- and long-term effects. In 2006, the National Association of Attorneys General recognized November 30 as National Methamphetamine Awareness Day in an effort to raise public awareness about the dangers of this drug.
A Multi-Pronged Approach to Drug Control
Although the success of the “War on Drugs” is largely up for debate, federal and local government agencies have taken steps to curb the rising tide of drug-related problems in the country. Law enforcement agencies on local, state, and federal levels continue to crack down on illicit drug trafficking. Educational programs and public outreach are two crucial elements of combatting drug addiction in the United States.
Few Options for Addicts Seeking Help
One of the reasons that drug abuse has such a high mortality rate is because drug users inherently fear seeking help due to the illegal nature of the substances they use. They aren’t likely to seek medical attention for fear of landing in jail with an arrest record for narcotics possession. This fear has contributed greatly to the number of drug-related overdose deaths.
Due to the nature of the drug abuse epidemic in the United States, many health care organizations press for more widely available and comprehensive training for handling addiction. This training would include making life-saving countermeasures available at pharmacies without prescriptions so that addicts can address potentially fatal overdose situations.
Unique Considerations for Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful stimulant. In addition to a rush of euphoria, users experience a range of mood-altering effects that can result in paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, violent outburst, hallucinations, delusions, and violent tendencies. Methamphetamine is known to have marked stages of effects.
Effects of the Drug
After the initial euphoria dissipates, users enter what is known as the “tweaking” stage. Users crave another dose of the drug and may stay awake for days on end, further exacerbating their mood swings and resulting in extreme irritability and frustration. It is not uncommon for “tweakers” to become suddenly violent without any provocation.
In Arizona, methamphetamine is one of the most widely available and abused illicit drugs throughout the state. Statistics show that abuse levels are increasing in Arizona, as are arrests associated with the production, sale, purchase, and possession of the drug. The most common form of methamphetamine in Arizona is crystal methamphetamine – known as crystal meth. In this form, the drug resembles shards of ice or glass.
Contributor to Violent Crime
Methamphetamine, like most other illegal drugs, is a massive black market where a single pound of the drug typically sells for thousands of dollars. Additionally, violence is a very common concern when it comes to the drug trade. The Office of the Arizona Attorney General named methamphetamine as the illegal drug most commonly associated with violent crime in the state.
Dangers of Meth Production
Methamphetamine in Arizona originates in-state or from nearby areas, including parts of Mexico. Hundreds of methamphetamine laboratories have been seized by law enforcement agencies over the past decade. However, most methamphetamine users questioned report that Mexican-made crystal meth is the preferred choice over Arizona-made powdered methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine production is extremely dangerous and hazardous to the environment. Producing meth creates toxic byproducts that can harm anyone in the vicinity. Many meth labs are found in densely populated areas, endangering the people living nearby as well as the law enforcement officers who eventually make a bust. The chemicals involved in the refining process also are extremely volatile. Many meth labs have been discovered after violent explosions.
Methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Unfortunately, it is still widely prevalent throughout the state of Arizona. It’s crucial for citizens to understand the inherent dangers of this powerful stimulant. Avoid it at all costs. If you happen to be a current user, do not be afraid to seek medical treatment to remedy your addiction.