Drug Use and Abuse


According to Weisheit & Brownstein (2016), methamphetamine is an illegal and highly addictive drug that is mostly used because of its euphoric effects. There are several forms of meth, including crystal, powder, tablets, and rocks. Meth is usually produced through extraction or hydrogenation of amphetamine or methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. It can also be produced by synthesizing the drug with other chemicals. Most producers during 1960s and 70s used to synthesize the drug from precursor chemicals. Methamphetamine is often transported through mail services, commercial flights, commercial vehicles, and maritime conveyances. The drug is also sold illegally by smugglers mostly controlled by major organizations that dominate the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.

A small dose of methamphetamine increases restlessness and decreases appetite. It also causes several cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure and rapid and irregular heartbeat. If a user overdoses the drug,  it may cause convulsions, hyperthermia, and even death. Often when take, meth creates a false sense of energy and wellbeing, making the users push their bodies further and faster than it is meant to go (Gouzoulis-Mayfrank et al., 2017). This may cause a severe physical and mental breakdown, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety.

The long term effects of methamphetamine can cause irreversible harm to the users, including increased blood pressure and heart rate. Consequently, this may damage the blood vessels, which leads to irregular heartbeats, which may cause cardiovascular collapse or even death. Additionally, the drug can lead to lung, kidney, and liver damage (Gouzoulis-Mayfrank et al., 2017). The long-term users of meth usually suffer from brain damage as well as memory loss and an inability to grasp information while those who recover are normally subjects to extreme mood swings and memory gaps.

The demographics of methamphetamine users range from diverse populations. College students and adolescents use the drug to have a good time and stay awake to study. Adults, including mothers and workers, use methamphetamine for its hyperactivity effect. Meth is also a solution to the depressed, angry, and bored people because it makes them feel better. According to a review of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (2012), approximately12 million Americans of age 12 and overuse methamphetamine at least once (Lipari, Park-Lee & Van Horn, 2016). Meth users are increasing among young professionals and college students who like partying and visiting night clubs.

There are several obstacles to the provision of treatment to people addicted to methamphetamine. One of the major challenges is the complicated system of care during the provision of treatment. Providers may find it difficult to navigate a complex treatment to methamphetamine-associated problems, including both medications and counseling (Gouzoulis-Mayfrank et al., 2017). There is also a lack of interagency communication and coordination between agencies, especially in rural areas where there is a shortage of providers and facilities. Another main challenge is the insufficient capability of hospitals to treat methamphetamine disorders due to limited resources and personnel. Some patients might also refuse to get treated as it is viewed mostly to be criminal behavior.

The addition is a serious agonizing process that needs efficient approaches to treating methamphetamine addiction. Gouzoulis-Mayfrank et al. (2017) add that using detoxification under medical supervision can help those on withdrawal avoid dangerous complications related to health and also reduce the risks for relapse. It is also the safest method of removing addictive substances from the body. Another useful method is the matrix model, which is a sixteen-week treatment program on behavior. This treatment incorporates behavioral therapy, counseling, drug testing, and family education. Also, group therapy is an effective method of treating methamphetamine addiction, which combines the benefits of group assurance and resocialization. The addicted users often help themselves as well as one another through all the stages of recovery. It is also efficient since most meth addicts have underlying health problems that need long-term treatment. The most effective approach to the treatment of meth addiction is the use of a matrix model since it promotes a positive reinforcement of activities which are not related to drugs. It also helps the patients understand the clinical processes and concepts as well as the complex cognitive processes.














Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E., Härtel-Petri, R., Hamdorf, W., Havemann-Reinecke, U., Mühlig, S., & Wodarz, N. (2017). Methamphetamine-related disorders. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 114(26), 455.

Lipari, R. N., Park-Lee, E., & Van Horn, S. (2016). America’s need for and receipt of substance use treatment in 2015. The CBHSQ Report. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US).

Weisheit, R. A., & Brownstein, H. (2016). Drug production in the rural context. Routledge International Handbook of Rural Criminology, 235-244.

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