The Hidden Meth Epidemic in NH.

With the attention on the opiate epidemic, meth has slipped through the cracks.

People struggling with meth addiction compulsively seek it, deteriorating their mental and physical health.

 

It can also cause relationship problems and legal consequences. Meth releases three times the amount of dopamine that cocaine does, making it an extremely addicting drug. Meth is a slang word for methamphetamines, it is produced legally and illegally. The legal FDA brand name for the drug is Desoxyn it’s used to make drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Fighting a meth addiction is very difficult because it hijacks the brain reward system and it impairs healthy decision making. The illicit form of meth is usually a white, odorless powder that can be smoked, injected, snorted, or orally. Crystal meth is usually used to refer to a more potent, smokeable version of the drug which looks like small, bluish white crystals. Their structural makeup is different but crystal meth and meth are the same chemically. Street names for meth include Glass, Ice, Crystal, Crank, and Redneck Cocaine. Similar to crack cocaine, meth produces a “rush” when injected or smoked. When snorted, it produces a euphoric sensation, but not a rush. The effects of meth include: elation, hyperactivity, talkativeness, empathy, alertness, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, increased wakefulness and physical activity, increased respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure, irritability, agitation, paranoia, confusion, anxiety, aggression, prolonged insomnia, tremors, weight loss, convulsions, heat stroke, irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular collapse, hyperthermia, stroke, death, damage to blood vessels in the brain. 

The drugs affordability and effects, can lead to binge use. Eventually meth doesn’t produce the same effects, the person using it will need higher doses to get high. Binging on meth increases your chances of overdosing.

The long term danger of meth.

A common effect is what’s known as “meth mouth”, The poor oral health that affects so many people fighting with crystal meth addiction. A study in 2016 done in Clinical Oral Investigations, researchers found that people who used crystal meth had higher chances of gingival bleeding and periodontal disease. For a lot of people who used crystal meth, the damage done to their mouths is irreparable even after they’ve stopped using the drug. Bleeding gums and rotting teeth are far from the greatest dangers of using crystal. More studies show that long term use can lead to the development of psychosis and organ damage. Both of which persist a long time after the individual has stopped using the drug. According to a study from the International Organization Research Group. Individuals who use meth have a greater risk of cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment combined with the feeling of euphoria has been proven a deadly combination for many people using meth. Other studies found that people who use crystal meth have a higher risk of contracting HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The longer the meth abuse the higher likelihood of experiencing all side effects of the drug. Those who partake in polysubstance use, combining meth with other substances of abuse, are also more likely to experience more severe side effects and long term health issues.

There aren’t enough resources devoted to amphetamine addiction to reduce hospitalization and deaths.

 The New Hampshire substance abuse crisis is often linked with the type of drug known as opioids, but another type of drug is rising in use, in the past three years, meth cases have more than doubled each year in the state. New Hampshire had 20 meth overdoses in 2018 it may seem like a low number but it’s still on the rise. That also doesn’t account for people harmed by people under the influence of meth. Unlike opioids, meth addiction cannot be treated with medicine. Instead, people addicted to the drug rely on counseling through residential and outpatient treatment centers. There hasn’t been a recent legislative focus on methamphetamines or other drugs.

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