Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One of These Drugs is Not Like the Other

Methamphetamines have come up quite a lot on this blog.  Between Tweak, and this week's Beautiful Boy, not to mention the million and one times we've referred to Ellen Hopkins, it's been pretty prevalent.

But why is there so much literature on the drug?  What is it about the drug that makes people want to write?

I'm not sure I can really answer that, but I can, at least, tell you what Meth IS and how it's become such a prevalent thing in our culture.

Meth.  Glass, crank, crystal, ice, clouds.  Whatever you want to call it, it's all the same thing: a highly addictive drug made up of  levorotatory and dextrorotatory.  It was originally created in Germany in 1887 (called Amphetamine then.)  Later on, in the early 1900s, the Japanese developed methamphetamine  which were incredibly more potent.

Meth was a commonly used drug.  It was given to Kamikaze pilots and given to soldiers during the second world war to help keep them awake.  During the 1950s, it could be purchased over the counter and was recommended as a diet aid and anti-depressant.

Finally, in the 1970s, after the recreational use, abuse and addiction of Meth increased hugely, the US put it on the restricted drug list.  It is still (rarely) used today for ADHD and extreme obesity. Levomethamphetamine can be found in products such as decongestants and allergy pills.  Levomethamphetamine does not have the addictive properties of Methamphetamine, but can easily be made into meth, which is why the government locked down on the products.  Now you have to go to the pharmacy counter to get many allergy pills and you are restricted to how many you can buy at one time.

Meth can really harm you too, obviously.  It can causes severe weight loss, psychosis, Liver, kidney and Lung damage, not to mention the sleep deprivation, depression, convulsions and panic.  So why do people take it?

Well, why do they take any drug?  Meth gives you the highest high you could possibly imagine.  It triggers the dopamine in your brain, making your brain release more than it should.  Think of the happiest, most fun time you've ever had.  Now, multiply that by about 100 and you halfway have an idea of what it's like to be on Meth.  It gives you a higher and longer high than drugs like Heroine.

Unfortunately, that high is harmful.  Because you're basically overstimulating your brain, you're also frying it.  And since meth users are constantly trying to recreate that first high, they keep taking it and taking it, possibly causing permanent brain damage.

Meth is easily the most addictive drug there is and, due to how easy it is to make meth labs, has become scarily, easily available.

FYI, word of advice, don't look up "Meth Users" on google images.  No, really, don't do it.


  1. Actually, technically it's called N-methyl-1-phenylprop-2-amine. ;)

    1. If you want to get technical, it's actually N-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine :)

    2. That's too technical for this blog. :P