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Crystal Meth Targets Rural America

Updated on May 28, 2011
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine

Crystal meth use has seen a consistent level of new users in America. It’s the type of drug that can hook someone after just one use. As users continue to abuse the drug, it results in more emergency room visits across America. Take the state of Montana for example. The drug of choice there is clearly crystal meth. The product is of higher quality and lower cost when compared to other states. It’s readily available and heavily abused throughout the state. The social and financial consequences for crystal meth abuse are devastating.

The state of Montana currently ranks #9 in the United States for emergency room visits per 100,000 admissions. That’s over 230% over the national average. Drug treatment admissions for crystal meth use have increased by over 500% in the last decade. And 94% of the state’s residents agree that crystal meth or “ice” attributes to the main drug problem for the state. Patients admitted to state funded rehab programs designate crystal meth as their main reason for being admitted into a program. And out of 1,246 patients, 65% were made up of people between the ages of 18-35. 43% of these individuals were IV users. And out of the entire group, males made up 57% of all admitted patients.

The most alarming statistic in Montana’s crystal meth use was that 1 out of every 10 teenagers knew of or has currently tried crystal meth. 33% of teens reported that crystal meth was very easy to obtain which was second to only marijuana. Much like the cigarette industry, drug dealers need new and younger clients to become addicted. Reports of candy-flavored crystal meth are being reported in the state of Montana and all over the country. These reports have become a major concern to law enforcement and the drug enforcement agency. It’s a clear indication that dealers are targeting younger people.

Strawberry Flavored Meth?

The most alarming statistic in Montana’s crystal meth use was that 1 out of every 10 teenagers knew of or has currently tried crystal meth. 33% of teens reported that crystal meth was very easy to obtain which was second to only marijuana. Much like the cigarette industry, drug dealers need new and younger clients to become addicted. Reports of candy-flavored crystal meth are being reported in the state of Montana and all over the country. These reports have become a major concern to law enforcement and the drug enforcement agency. It’s a clear indication that dealers are targeting younger people.

These flavored crystals are popping up in states like Montana but also California, Nevada, Idaho, Texas, Missouri, and Minnesota. It won’t be long before the east coast and south east get hit. Drug traffickers are trying to lure new customers, no matter their age, by making meth seem less dangerous. Crystal meth or methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant which is typically white or brownish. It usually has a bitter-like taste which easily dissolves in water. Much like heroin, it can be smoked, snorted, or shot through the vein.

Among the new candy flavors are strawberry which is known on the streets as “strawberry quick”, chocolate, cola, and other fruit flavored carbonated sodas. A drug enforcement agent recently busted a dealer with a red colored crystal meth which was being marketed as a powdered form of an energy drink.

The state of Missouri has seen a huge spike in designer flavored meth. A few years ago, law enforcement seized meth called “Smurf Dope” which was a blue color. The meth cooker ground of blue chalk and added it to the recipe to make the product stand out from others. Law enforcement say that dealers and cookers try very hard to make their product distinctive from others. They add color, flavor, or a catchy name to brand their meth. “Strawberry Quick” has become the most popular type of meth in recent months. Its popularity among new users who snort it says that the product is easier to take because it cuts down on the bitter taste. Teenagers who have been taught meth is bad see that the flavored crystals are less harmful making “Strawberry Quick” the number one choice for younger teens.

Damage To Youth

Crystal meth use among the youth of America is considered especially tragic due to the severe and often irreversible damage that it can cause even to occasional users. Unlike users of other illicit drugs, crystal meth users experience permanent and substantial cognitive and physical damage. Among the list of things, meth causes “meth mouth” where the teeth rot and the gums become damaged. It also permanently damages blood vessels in the brain. Users are prone to anorexia, stroke, heart attacks, tremors, paranoia, and liver, kidney and lung damage. And statistically speaking, meth users have a higher correlation with poor behaviors which includes risky sexual behavior, violence, and crime.

There are major contributing factors for meth use in youths. 32% of young adults and 21% of teens believe it helps you lose weight. 26% of young adults and 17% of teens believe it gives you energy. 23% of young adults and 19% of teens believe meth can make you happy in life. And 19% of young adults and 16% of teens believe it will help you with staying out of boredom. Experts and physicians state that the stranglehold meth has on individuals is practically unparalleled. It causes the brain to release dopamine nearly four times greater than cocaine. This alters the brain chemistry and an intense cycle of high and lows in a person.

Identify Meth Abuse

Although it may be difficult to identify when your loved one is using crystal meth, there are key signs to look for. Look for unusual sleeping habits. Teens typically will stay up for days from meth and then crash to sleep. They may shows signs of nervous behavior or tics. Scratching of the skin and twitches are also things to look out for. Look to see if the teen has a decrease in appetite and if he or she has lost a significant amount of weight. One should look for track marks where veins are present and for burn marks on the lips and finger tips. The burn marks are attributed from the pipe getting too hot. Watch out for signs of your teen withdrawing from normal daily functions and if he or she is lying. Secretiveness is always a clear sign of something going on with a person. Also notice aggressive behavior as well as showing an attitude of being careless about themselves physically. Another thing to watch out for is if things begin missing in your home and if money is being stolen. Often when the user runs out of money they will steal and pawn from those closest to them.

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