Crystal meth, dubbed speed because of is accelerant effect on the user, is widely known to be one of the worlds most addictive recreational drugs.
But where did it start?
Just over one hundred years ago, in 1893, Nagayoshi Nagai, a chemist by trade, synthesized the drug from ephedrine, a plant derivative with documented medicinal usage for the treatment of respiratory problems from as early as 3000 BC. It remained to be used for this purpose till later than 1950 AD. Around 1919 Akira Ogata first created the crystallized form through the reduction of ephedrine and thus birthed crystal meth as we know it today. An interesting piece of information about the drugs use in the past is that it was used by both sides in World War II to keep soldiers and pilots awake and alert.
Crystal meth is highly addictive, with withdrawal symptoms normally being very severe and the change of relapse being very high. Because the drug acts on the dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters, its use induces feelings of heightened consciousness, elevated self-esteem, and euphoria. It can also cause anxiety, paranoia, and agitation.
Long term abuse can cause the down-regulation of the neurotransmitters, leading to tolerance and causing the user to need to smoke more of the drug in order to get the same high. The down-regulation at these specific neural synapses is likely to leave the user depressed for long periods of time as these synapses are directly involved in creating the chemical reactions we experience as happiness and joy.
Physical effects include dilated pupils, dry mouth, insomnia, numbness, and headaches. With loss of inhibitions and increased sexual function, crystal meth users often engage in risky sexual practices, and the danger of contracting sexual diseases such as HIV becomes very real.
The drug addicts emotional journey with crystal meth is a textbook one; high highs, consisting of euphoric episodes and extreme joy, and low lows, with depression, excessive sleeping and possible suicidal tendencies. Users looking to end their addiction should expect periods of depression, increased appetite and anxiety and are urged to call in support from friends and family.
In short, crystal meth is an extremely addictive drug, which poses various dangers to the mental, physical, and emotional well being of the user.
In the words of an addict; “Don’t touch it. This shit has totally ruined my life.”