Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested. Methamphetamine is created by heating a variety of chemical ingredients together. Most clandestine labs “cook” up ingredients from cold medication, like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, with other chemicals such as red phosphorus, hydrochloric acid, anhydrous ammonia and other household solvents. The production of one pound of Methamphetamine creates five to seven pounds of toxic waste, along with poisonous gas.
Dangers and Consequences of Use
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Elevated body temperature
- Skin ulceration and infection
- Rotten teeth, referred to as “meth mouth”
- Depression, irritability, anxiety
- Increased blood pressure leading to risk of stroke, heart attack and seizures
- Permanent damage to brain cells caused by injury to small blood vessels serving the brain
- For pregnant women – premature labor, detachment of the placenta, and low birth weight babies with possible neurological damage, poor feeding and lethargy
- For IV users – AIDS, hepatitis, infections and sores at the injection sits, and infection of the heart lining and valves
Meth in Texas
- In Texas 69% of meth comes from Mexico, but local cooking methods are also used for small batches.
- Texas meth has a 94% purity level, which creates longer-lasting physical effects and associated consequences.
- In 2009 four percent of Texas high school students reported any lifetime use of methamphetamine.
- In 2010 there were 160 calls to Texas poison control centers involving exposure to meth.
- In 2010, nine percent of admissions to treatment programs were of primary meth users –over half were women.