ravishing of communities by Methamphetamines
Methamphetamines can and will become the largest problem the United States will have to deal with due to many different circumstances that need to be addressed. The general public in the United States looks at the major problems we have to be things like crime rates and terrorism, but in reality the subject that is really ravishing the communities is methamphetamines. Both the short and long term affects of methamphetamines will totally ruin a person’s life. Some people say that doing drugs or methamphetamines is a victimless crime, considering that the person is only harming themselves, but is it hurting others in any sort of way? The problem with the methamphetamines is that it tears families apart and ruins the people’s lives around them. The other major problem that is affecting the communities and normal citizens is the methamphetamine labs, because of how easy it is to make methamphetamine, there tends to be a lot of labs that give off chemicals that are detrimental to the air we breathe everyday.
When a person takes methamphetamines, they honestly believe in their mind that they have super-human strengths. While “high” on methamphetamines, it is very pleasurable to most people and it lasts for many hours. Methamphetamines can be cheaply made through easily bought chemicals at any pharmacy, but now days they have restrictions on the sale of these chemicals. The chemicals they use can be as simple as cold medicines, but these are no longer available over the counter. This is why it is a popular drug for those people who want to make drugs but do not really know anything about how, it can be as simple as a recipe for a meal. This has to be the largest attractive factor because it is so cheap and convenient people do not have to pay money to support their drug habit. Methamphetamines releases dopamine in the brain, creating a high that lasts for a few hours and is followed by an agitated state that often leads to bad behavior. From this bad behavior, comes higher crime rates, so solving the methamphetamine problem would be killing to birds with one stone, in two areas that both need a substantial amount of help.
A major problem with methamphetamines is the fact that the drug almost literally tears families apart. As stated earlier, some look at doing drugs as a victimless crime because one is only harming them by doing the drug, but this is impossible for a drug like methamphetamines, which obviously alter one’s behavior. Through altering the behavior of someone for the worse, family or friends are somehow harmed which does not really make it much of a victimless crime at all.
Another question that needs to be asked is why there is such a problem with methamphetamines in rural areas and not such a big problem in big cities? Since it is so cheaply made one would think that the numerous people living in poverty in big cities would love to do a drug like this, but this is not the case. For some reason it is mostly in the rural areas, and the only explanation that I could think of is that it is necessary to find a private spot for the production of methamphetamines, and in rural areas there tends to be a lot of these kind of spots. In rural areas, even the young people are susceptible to the drug, while living in the city no young person would even consider doing methamphetamines, because it is not easily available as it is in rural America. In big cities, it seems that crack/cocaine is the more expensive version of methamphetamines, so if one were to predict the future one would think that this epidemic will soon start ravishing the big cities of America also. If it were to become more of a problem in big cities the government would have to step up to the plate and do something about it, knowing that politics in big cities are much more influential than politics in the small town America.
The major problem in the production of methamphetamines is the actual labs where this drug is made. In stopping any real dilemma, one must go to the source and stop it from there, and in this situation it is the labs where methamphetamines are made. From a survey of methamphetamine lab incidents, there was 7,438 lab incidents in 43 states in 1999, but since then it has not really gotten any worse or any better. (1). The question that needs to be asked is how long these labs have been in America, and how was this problem not addressed in 1999? Since methamphetamine labs have very few components to them, they are very easily moved around, because they are always moving to different spots, they are very hard to detect. It is also very smart to hold a methamphetamine lab in a very remote place, seeing that it gives off a strong chemical odor that can be easily smelled.
The basic method for making methamphetamine involves extracting the pseudoephedrine from cold medicine and combining it with other chemicals through cooking. All of the chemicals in methamphetamines are toxic and very dangerous, but all can be taken from pharmaceutical drugs, cleaning fluids, and other substances that are available at almost any store. Because of the fact that the people making it do not actually know all of the right things to do while making it and the recipes they use with these chemicals could have results could have lethal outcomes. Most of the chemicals that are used are very harmful and there are many cases of the chemicals actually burning people’s limbs off. Chemical fumes, which are always around inside a methamphetamine lab because the windows are usually closed to make sure no one will find their spot and prevent odors from leaving the lab, can be absorbed through the skin and lungs. People who choose to make this drug are putting themselves at very high risk of getting some sort of disease.
While methamphetamine cooks expose themselves to the dangers of methamphetamines, others in their households are being forced to do the same. Children who live in the households of methamphetamine cooks are considered to be at especially high risk, even higher risk than the adults who are cooking the methamphetamine. Children absorb chemical fumes through their skin and lungs at a higher rate than adults. Seeing that young children love exploring and find new things, having them near a methamphetamine lab could be very dangerous considering that they could grab anything that has to do with the production of the drug. Children being raised by meth cooks are usually neglected or abused, since their parents are generally addicted to the drug and are unable to provide them with adequate care (3).
Those living near a methamphetamine lab are at risk from the chemical fumes and explosions that could occur in the lab. Methamphetamine labs are so dangerous that federal law requires that anyone who knowingly approaches a methamphetamine lab must be a federally trained agent wearing protective, fire-proof clothing and an oxygen mask (2). Law enforcement officials are at high risk for the potential explosions and hazard that come from labs seeing that it is their job to find these hard to find places. Most injuries of law enforcement officials occur because of inhalation of dangerous chemicals (2). These are just a few reasons why methamphetamines in general bring problems that harm people in ways people usually do not think about.
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug, not only to those who use or make it, but also to anyone who is exposed to labs where it is made. The toxins in the drug are not only killing the user, they are harming everyone else around them, yet people throughout the country are catching onto this craze. Hopefully, the people of the United States and the influential people in politics will find a better way to address such a serious epidemic.
1. “Maps of Methamphetamine Lab Incidents.” U.S. Drug Enforcement Association. 3 Mar. 2008
2. “Understanding Meth.” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. 1 Mar. 2008
3. “How Do Meth Labs Endanger Children?” Arizona Drug Endangered Children Program. 26 Feb. 2008