The use of methamphetamine (meth) has reached epidemic proportions in the United States with over 12 million reported users. Once a low-profile drug that was homemade and confined to a handful of rural communities is now main-stream and law enforcements number one drug concern.
Experts suggest that Meth is one of the most highly addictive substances on Earth. Meth interacts with the human brains "pleasure centers" causing a flood of dopamine and strong feelings of satisfaction and reward. Meth decreases appetite and increases alertness or wakefulness in even very small does.
Smoking or injecting meth produces a very intense rush, where taking the drug orally or snorting produces a long-lasting high that may last for more than 8 hours. Either way the drug manipulates dopamine levels in the brain to drastically increase feelings of pleasure.
Once addicted, an addict will do anything to get high again. They have a one-track mind and all they care about is getting high. As intense as the reported meth high is, the reported crash is even more intense; leaving many users in severe depression and contemplating suicide.
Burglars, robbers, rapists, carjackers, identity thieves and murderers -- todays criminals are very likely to have a meth addiction. Crime becomes a way of life for meth attics. Their whole life is built around getting more meth. As a result, areas of high meth use also see a proportional increase in property crime. The addiction must be financed, so the incidence of burglary and theft spike in communities housing meth addicts. Home and personal security becomes a very real priority for those affected.
Here are some signs that a person might be addicted to meth.
Obsessive, nervous behavior. A user may suddenly become compulsive about washing hands, cleaning or performing the same task over and over. The pupils are dilated and rapid eye movement is exhibited. Excessive perspiration and increased body temperature. Severe tooth decay or rotting teeth known as "meth mouth", nervous tooth grinding, dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. Skin sores that take abnormally long periods to heal or don't heal at all. Hallucinations, including the belief that bugs or insects are crawling below the skin. Extreme weight loss and physical deterioration are likely.