Many studies have shown the use of opioids is on the rise. However, an equally harmful substance is threatening the lives of people all over the world. That is the substance methamphetamine. It appears that drug users are choosing meth for a number of reasons such as they experience increased energy and attention, a higher rush of euphoria, and a decrease in appetite. Methamphetamine, also known simply as meth, can be stronger than cocaine. It’s effects last longer and a larger percentage of this dangerous drug stays in the body. This could be the appeal which has so many people choosing it over other substances.
The fact is that everything about meth is dangerous. This includes the ingredients used to make it and the way it is made. For now, let’s take a little look at the history of methamphetamine, it’s ingredients, and how it is made.
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Brief History of Meth
Methamphetamine was developed by a Japanese scientist named Nagayoshi Nagai in 1893. It was first used by people from England, America, Germany, and Japan during World War II. Many soldiers used it to get a boost of energy and to fight off fatigue in times of war. Several Japanese factory workers used it to get through long hours of working in the factory. Once the war was over and men no longer needed to rely on the drug to get them through war, pharmaceutical companies created an over the counter pill offered to the public. This was the beginning of a meth epidemic around the world.
Ingredients in Methamphetamine
Now, let’s look at the ingredients in methamphetamine and the dangers associated with each of them. These ingredients include the following:
- Anhydrous Ammonia – This ingredient can also be found in some cleaners and fertilizers. If it gets mixed with other chemicals a toxic gas will form.
- Acetone – This ingredient can also be found in paint thinner and nail polish remover. It can be exceedingly flammable.
- Ephedrine (Pseudoephedrine) – This ingredient can also be found in some cold medicines. If it is taken in large doses ephedrine could hurt your respiratory system, heart, and nervous system.
- Hydrochloric Acid – This is often used in the making of plastic. It is very abrasive and can even be used to remove rust from steel objects. Some experts say this acid is so strong it could eat away flesh.
- Red Phosphorus – This is found on road flares, matchboxes, and in other types of explosives. It is very flammable.
- Lithium – This is found in batteries. It can burn your skin, is extremely explosive, and reacts negatively with water.
- Sodium Hydroxide – This ingredient is also known as lye. It is often used to disintegrate roadkill, can easily burn your skin, and can cause you to go blind.
- Sulfuric Acid – This is found in toilet and drain cleaner. It is an abrasive ingredient which can burn your skin.
It is pretty clear that the ingredients found in meth are dangerous and can cause harm to anyone who chooses to use it. Now, let’s look at how meth is made.
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People make meth by cooking it’s ingredients. They use the following steps to create this harmful substance:
- Ephedrine is obtained, usually illegally or extracted from other medications such as diet pills or cold medicine. This is put into a container, usually a large cooking vessel.
- Anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorus, lithium, iodine crystals, and water are added, creating a chemical reaction.
- A form of solvent is added, so the person can extract meth from the vessel and other chemicals.
- There is a bubbling acidic like gas in meth which forms it into crystals.
Everything about making meth is dangerous, flammable, toxic, destructive, abrasive, and down right harmful.
Detecting a Meth Lab
It is important for you to keep an eye out for meth labs in your community. However, if you notice one, remember you shouldn’t take matters into your own hands. You should inform the police if you have any suspicions that someone may have a meth lab in your area. Some warnings signs that a person may have a meth lab include the following:
- Windows are blacked out
- Yard may be littered with chemical cans such as drano, antifreeze, lye, and pool acid
- Yard may have a large amount of trash
- Hoses coming out of windows
- You smell solvents
Remember, if you find a meth lab or think someone is making meth in your neighborhood, call the police or 911 to report it.
Many people consider meth a luxury drug. However, it is truly a harmful substance which can cause great dangers to your entire body. If you or someone you love is making meth or addicted to it, you should seek help. You can get help at drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers for any drug or alcohol abuse disorders or addictions.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.