Is it easy to develop a meth addiction?

Methamphetamine is a psycho-stimulant drug that is illegal. Users of methamphetamine develop an addiction fairly quickly. Most people have heard of crystal meth, which is a form of the drug that looks similar to glass fragments. More formally known as crystal methamphetamine, it can also look like bluish-white rocks. Methamphetamines are man-made synthetic psycho-stimulant drugs that are odorless. The drug is made in illegal labs throughout the United States and abroad, with the majority produced in “superlabs” in Mexico. Making meth is an extremely dangerous due to the volatility of the chemicals used during the “cooking” process coupled with the exposure to toxic chemicals. If the chemicals are mixed incorrectly, there is considerable risk for an explosion.

A main ingredient in crystal meth is pseudoephedrine, which is found in many cold medicines. Subsequently, the federal government closely regulates products containing this ingredient, requiring pharmacies and other retailers to keep purchase records of products containing this ingredient. This law is designed to limit the sale of these over the counter (OTC) cold medicines and reduce the amount of meth production. While small labs can easily make the drug, transactional criminal organizations (TCOs) in Mexico have the capability of producing large amounts of meth that is highly pure, potent and low in price (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). Many people are tempted to try meth for its low price tag, resulting in a debilitating methamphetamine addiction.

Similar in structure to amphetamine, which is prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity and narcolepsy, methamphetamine was given to the military during World War II to keep soldiers alert, improve endurance and mood. Consequentially, it became apparent that the drug was dangerously addictive and was added as a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the 1970s (Davis, 2018).

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2019, May) What is methamphetamine? Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
Davis, K. (2018, June 28) Methamphetamine: What you should know. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309287.php