Methamphetamine Use and Addiction to Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is a central nervous system stimulant. It’s classified as a Schedule II drug and can only legally be obtained through a prescription. With limited medical use, the drug is more closely associated with much of the negative stigma that surrounds addiction. Most of the methamphetamine that is abused in the US comes from homegrown laboratories of varying sizes. Addiction to methamphetamine has become more widespread in recent years, despite efforts to control its growth.
Amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887. While their potency and effect was clear, no proper medical use was determined.
Between 1919 and 1930, methamphetamine was developed by a pharmacologist in Japan. The determination was to use the drug to treat both asthma and narcolepsy. In 1932, Benzedine was introduced as an over-the-counter amphetamine to treat nasal and bronchial congestion associated with colds.
By World War II, meth and other amphetamines are given to Allied bomber pilots to sustain them on longer flights. However, it was quickly identified that pilots on these substances become too irritable to properly channel their aggression.
Between 1945 and 1950, Japan experienced its first meth epidemic. This spread quickly to Guam, the US Marshall Islands and America’s West Coast.
In the 1950s, meth was still being used to treat obesity, sinus inflammation, and narcolepsy. These pills began to be sold for non-medical purposes to anyone who wanted to stay awake and keep active.
Throughout the 1960s, doctors in California prescribed methamphetamine injections to treat addiction to heroin. During this time, the use soared among subcultures, such as students and biker gangs.
In the 1970s, methamphetamine became regulated in the Controlled Substances Act. During this time, an official public education campaign was mounted.
During the 1980s, drug treatment counselors reported increased abuse of methamphetamines among homosexual men. Mexican manufacturers began bringing methamphetamine north of the border as well. It was during this period that forms of methamphetamine which could be smoked were introduced.
In the 1990s, new methods for cooking methamphetamine began to appear. Some of the product from these newer versions were between 4 and 16 times stronger than what was previously available. Greater methamphetamine use and addiction to methamphetamine is seen in the rural Midwest and Southwest of the US.
In 1996, Congress passed the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act. This regulated mail order and chemical companies from selling any of the precursor chemicals which can be used to cook methamphetamine.
Beginning in 2000, methamphetamine had become the favored hard drug in the Western US. It surpassed crack, cocaine, and heroin.
In recent years, many addiction treatment centers have begun to tailor their treatment programs to fighting methamphetamine addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to methamphetamine, seeking treatment at a professional drug rehab may be best.