Tag Archives: Facts and Stats

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Coming: What You Should Know

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day - Pathways Recovery CaliforniaNovember 30, 2016 is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. Pathways Recovery is dedicated to eradicating all addiction, whether involving drugs or alcohol. We think it’s important, however, to know all you can about the various drugs out there. The more you know, the better you are able to avoid addiction.

Methamphetamine is highly dangerous and negatively affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. Yet, the recognition of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is somewhat recent. It was first recognized in 2006, making November 30 one of the "younger" drug awareness days in America. As we learn more about methamphetamine and raise awareness of it, we can work to prevent more people from using this drug.

Why National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Important

Since 2012, there has been a rise in methamphetamine usage. In 2012, an estimated 1.2 million people reported using the drug in the past year. In a 2013 survey, an estimated 595,000 people in the United States used methamphetamine in the last month, as compared to 353,000 total users in 2010. In 2012, 19.4 percent of drug offenses involved methamphetamine. Many offenders were convicted for meth trafficking. Offenders were found in possession of 3.3 to 11 pounds of methamphetamine.

Surprisingly, sentencing for methamphetamine possession, trafficking and personal use has become less harsh since 2012. Although 98.9 percent of methamphetamine offenders were sent to prison, only 34.1 percent of offenders received the recommended minimum sentence or longer.

In the years between 2008 and 2012, 40 percent of methamphetamine offenders received a sentence outside applicable guideline ranges. In many cases, this was because the state or federal government encouraged a below-range sentence. While the average minimum sentence guidelines for methamphetamine use remains the same, average sentences have decreased.

Is There An 'Average Methamphetamine Offender'?

Most methamphetamine traffickers convicted in 2012 were male (about 80 percent). Just over half of these individuals had no prior criminal history, and 68 percent were United States citizens. In 2012, most methamphetamine traffickers were white or Hispanic (47.6 and 45.4 percent, respectively). Only 2.5 percent of traffickers were black, and 4.5 percent were of other races.

Methamphetamine users are often young. In 2012, the average age of someone sentenced for methamphetamine use or trafficking was 35 years old. About 23.5 percent of reported users were minors or participated minimally in the offense, which decreased their sentences. These statistics indicate the average methamphetamine user or trafficker is a young white male. However, anyone can use methamphetamine and become addicted, and they could face serious negative consequences.

Types Of Methamphetamine

When most people think of methamphetamine, they think of crystal meth. While this is a popular and dangerous drug, there are several other forms of methamphetamine.

Most users take methamphetamine in one of three ways: The first is crystalline, which comes in an ice or crystal form. The second is powder (also known as “speed”). Third, some people take the methamphetamine base.

Methamphetamine derivatives are also popular. One derivative is ecstasy, which is commonly sold as a tablet. Methamphetamine derivatives are sometimes used as ingredients in herbal or vitamin supplements because they increase the user’s energy.

The Effects Of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine users swallow, snort, smoke or inject the drug. Many users choose methamphetamine because it provides short-term bursts of high energy and alertness. As with many other drugs, methamphetamine cause a sense of euphoria, which often leaves users addicted to the emotional high.

The high energy associated with meth can cause:

  • Increased talkativeness
  • Shaking hands
  • Teeth grinding
  • Profuse sweating
  • Jaw clenching
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Frequent meth usage often causes nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, libido changes and aggression or hostility.

    The Dangers Of Methamphetamine

    Long-term methamphetamine users experience a range of severe physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Extreme weight loss as well as deterioration of the mouth, teeth and skin are all common. In some cases, meth users experience brain damage and memory loss, which can permanently affect cognition.

    Many meth users sustain organ problems, such as:

    • Weakened heart
    • Kidney damage
    • Liver damage

    If the methamphetamine was snorted or smoked, the user may suffer from respiratory diseases and damage to his or her nose, sinuses and lungs.

    The psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine use are often debilitating, too. Meth users may experience mood swings or depression. Some engage in violent behavior. In some cases, long-term methamphetamine usage leads to psychosis, strokes and brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

    Awareness Brings Solutions

    If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of addiction, not just methamphetamine (crystal meth), please call us today and speak to one of our specialists, no matter what the drug or alcohol addiction you face. We have the solution!

    5 Surprising Myths About Addiction

    5 Surprising Myths About AddictionWhen it comes to those suffering from addiction, there are many misconceptions. Unfortunately, these fallacies can lead to assumptions and preconceptions that prevent individuals from getting the help they need.

    It’s important for addicts as well as their loved ones or anyone who has been affected by addiction to understand more about it, including the truths and myths surrounding addiction.

    Five Myths About Addiction

    So, what are the most common myths when it comes to addiction and individuals struggling with substance abuse? Here are five to consider:

    Myth #1: Addiction Is A Choice

    Addiction Is A ChoiceNo one chooses to be at the mercy of drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a disorder that alters brain chemistry and makes it increasingly difficult to stop using. Genetics and environmental factors also play a part in the risk of addiction.

    Myth #2: Addicts Are Bad People Who Need To Be Punished

    There is a common perception that all individuals suffering from addiction are corrupt, lazy, and misguided. Although addiction can perpetuate bad behaviors in some people, even good people, professional and appropriate treatment is the answer and not punishment or jail time.

    Myth #3: Addicts Usually Only Have One Substance Of Choice

    While there are plenty of alcoholics who have never touched another substance, and likewise, drug addicts who have only one drug of choice, the reality is many people mix drugs to increase their high or to come down from another. Teens and young adults are most likely to experiment with multiple substances. Unfortunately, mixing substances is riskier and harder to treat.

    Myth #4: People Abusing Legal Prescription Drugs Are Not Really Addicts

    People Abusing Legal Prescription DrugsInterestingly, many people believe that those who have an addiction to prescription drugs are different than others suffering from street drug or alcohol addiction. Yet, the reality is that prescription drugs have the same addictive properties as illegal substances. Abusing Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall or other prescription drugs can possess the same level of addiction as drugs on the street.

    Myth #5: You Need To Shame Addicts Into Change

    You Need To Shame Addicts Into ChangeUnlike individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, those suffering from the disease of addiction are often not given the level of treatment or care they need for long-term recovery. Some treatment centers use shame as a tool to initiate change in their patients, yet this approach often backfires and results in a quick relapse.

    Get The Help For You Need For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

    If you or a loved one is struggling with the bondage of substance abuse, the first step in getting the help you need is by calling the caring and professional staff at Pathways Recovery. We offer customized detox and treatment programs along with family education and much more. Call us today!