17 Jul Women and Meth
The crystal meth epidemic that hit rural America years ago may no longer be the biggest story in illicit drugs, but meth has not disappeared. Meth has simply spread out of the country and into the suburbs where more women are getting hooked than ever before. Know the signs of meth use in women, understand the motivations and the risks and be aware of how much damage this drug can do to you or someone you love.
What Is Meth?
Meth is short for methamphetamine and also goes by the names crystal meth, ice, speed and crank. Methamphetamine is a controlled substance and not illegal. It can be prescribed by doctors, although it is not used very often, for obesity and narcolepsy. Crystal meth, which is usually made in a home lab, is the crystallized version of methamphetamine and can be abused by smoking or by injection after dissolving it in water.
Why Are Women Using Meth?
A decade ago, the number of people using and getting addicted to meth was skyrocketing. Dealers had figured out how to make it in a fairly simple home lab setting and meth labs proliferated around the country as demand grew. Tight restrictions on the over-the-counter cold medicine needed to make meth, as well as crackdowns on meth labs, helped to slow and even turn around cases of meth addiction. Today, however, women are still using the drug, more so than men.
Both methamphetamine and amphetamine, a similar drug that is often sold as a prescription for ADHD, have the effect of reducing the appetite and speeding up metabolism. These combined factors cause meth abusers to lose weight. This is one of the main motivations for women, especially young women, to abuse the drug. Many also refuse to give up using the drug because of fears of weight gain. Suburban moms are often falling prey to the lure of increased energy that meth gives its users.
What Are the Effects of Using Meth?
The health effects of using meth can be devastating. In the short term, meth causes a euphoric feeling along with increased energy and alertness, but it also causes diarrhea, sweating, insomnia, paranoia, agitation, increased blood pressure and heart rate and tremors. Over the long term, the health effects are even more serious. Users can lose dangerous amounts of weight, experience psychosis, develop sores and scabs because of a crawling sensation on the skin and their teeth can rot. This last symptom is one of the most noticeable and disturbing effects of the drug and treatment for meth mouth can require years of dental work.
Meth is a serious drug that is highly addictive, very dangerous and susceptible to abuse by women in particular. All women should be aware of the consequences of abusing meth to get more energy or to lose weight. Those mild benefits are not worth the extreme risks of using this drug.
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