Methamphetamine History

Meth has been around since 1919 when it was first synthesized. Meth was used for medical purposes right after World War II. These medical purposes were mainly for fatigue and weight problems (being overweight or obese). Doctors were accurately claiming that meth suppresses appetite, however the dangers weren’t known at this point. Meth was often called “work pills” around this time period. Then in the late 1960’s the dangers of meth finally started to show up and get recognition. Meth abuse remained mostly a problem of concern in California-specific areas due to the location of the manufacturers and suppliers there from the late ’70’s until the early ’80’s.

A large amount of meth laboratories, some large and some smaller, started popping up in the 1980’s. The reason why this is has to do with the fact that meth can easily made in any garden-variety kitchen by pretty much anybody. It isn’t very hard to produce and once people realized this, there was a rapid increase in these types of laboratories. For a long time there weren’t any regulations on purchasing the chemical ingredients required to concoct a meth recipe. However over time and by the early 1990’s the purchase of ephedrine in large quantities was restricted on a federal basis. Unfortunately meth cooks found a way around this, cleverly altering the recipe to make meth and when that backfired then cleverly hiring “smurfs”. Smurfs are people hired by meth cooks that go to a variety of stores to buy the ingredients for meth so as to avoid buying in large quantity and hence avoid any potential suspicion or unwanted attention. Some time around the early ’80’s Mexican cocaine traffickers ended up running things meth-wise as well and soon became the top meth dealers.

How Meth Has Evolved Over Time

Meth has evolved a lot over time. It was first synthesized and then used as medicine, as a cure for fatigue and obesity but also for depression and a litany of other conditions as well. Like most illegal drugs, it was finally seen that there were dangers to using it and harmful side effects. This caused it to become an illegal substance. Unlike some other stimulants (such as cocaine), the popularity of meth has taken somewhat of a snowball effect nature. It wasn’t always very popular. For a long time it was viewed as a drug for people that didn’t have a lot of money and couldn’t afford other types of drugs that were pricier and more hip. Meth was treated like a shameful drug with a stigma to boot. Slowly, but surely, it got more of a foothold in the drug scene over time and is now not as covertly used due to embarrassment like it used to be. Instead, many women turn to meth as cheap and easy way to lose weight. However a legal and obviously safer version of meth is sold and prescribed for weight loss problems as well as depression, etc. It’s not precisely meth but it is pretty close. It’s called Dexedrine and it is used to aid weight loss especially in obese people. However, most women who are using meth to lose weight may not be technically obese. They are utilizing the drug in an unhealthy manner, for unhealthy motives due to equally unhealthy self esteem issues they may be struggling with and instead of facing their issues they are taking meth as ashore term solution to the problem. It really is a shame that this is such a common occurrence with meth use and a significant reason behind using.

An easy and cheap way to lose weight isn’t the only reason acting as a catalyst to using and abusing meth. This has become looked at as an intensified type of cocaine, something ordinary people might turn to for lack of energy or confidence or whatever else it is they are searching for from a meth high. This is unfortunate because meth is a very addictive drug and can turn a user’s life upside-down. Many users might use the drug due to curiosity or some concept that they could be more productive were they high on the drug, however it really will take a toll sooner or later in a more extreme way than even cocaine will. Meth can dramatically ruin the user’s life, suck the money out of them and sometimes even throw a person into a psychotic or violent state of mind. It’s truly one of the most dangerous drugs, and it started out with an accurate stigma that has since vanished for the most part. Users and culture don’t view it as drastically harmful and dangerous as it actually is anymore. This misguided viewpoint is unhealthy for society because it is misleading and untrue, leading more and more people and high school students into trying out meth. Like any other stimulant it leaves its user with extreme lethargy and depression. Yet meth is up there with the strongest and most powerful stimulants there are, so you can only try to imagine the gravity of this unfortunate situation.

Some History On Meth Purity

In 2004 the Mexican cartels which basically were responsible for about eighty percent of the American meth market legally purchased 224 tons of pseudoephedrine and 100 tons of that was cooked into meth. This was then smuggled into the U.S. and resulted in a high purity level of meth on the streets. Come 2005 and the Mexican government finally decides to crackdown on this flagrant operation. The Mexican government reduced the imports to reasonable levels.

The Meth Epidemic

It seems like meth use is at an epidemic level with 1.4 million meth users in America alone. The use of meth has drastically grown over time, its reputation changing and softening in many deceiving ways. People that tend to use meth are sorely mistaken when approaching the drug for strictly short term use. Some people think it might help them be more productive and able to stay awake and work through the midnight oil, others might be under the impression it will render them skinny and good-looking. However, meth is not the solution for either of these problems and only ends up backfiring and making each problem for taking it worse in the end. The bottom line is that meth is dangerous to a large extend, especially to one’s health. If you think about it the drug is made up of household, store bought chemical ingredients and it is a synthetic drug not meant to be ingested by the body. It ends up sucking the life out of its users and ruining their body in more ways than one. Meth abuse and addiction go hand in hand, remaining a growing problem in the United States but also worldwide. The drug is far from safe and, speaking of addictive, it is highly potent in this way which is why it’s evolved to become more widespread over time.

By Robert O. Newman II, ICDAC, ICPS, CIP