Despite the fact that meth addiction statistics in the United States indicate decreasing numbers of addicts, meth addiction continues to be a worldwide epidemic that has seen little change in the last decade. In fact, the United Nations recently conducted a study that established meth as the 2nd most commonly used illicit substance in the world. This is a severe problem considering that meth addiction causes severe social and public health issues that can be extremely difficult to control. But because the war on drugs obviously isn’t working, it’s logical to conclude that the best policy should be one of education about the dangers of meth use and addiction.
During the United Nations study mentioned above it was determined that meth is most often used by homosexual men, young adults of both sexes and the homeless. But regardless of the group of users, the study concluded that all meth users were inherently associated with a greatly increased risk of extremely risky behaviors and violence. This includes more exposure to disease via intravenous drug use, sex while under the influence and lack of self-maintenance. People who use meth are more likely to be involved in violence such as robbery, rape and murder, and they are also more likely to commit suicide.
One interesting aspect of meth addiction is that, despite the prominence of some groups it does affect people of all social, religious, ethnic and financial backgrounds. Teachers, police officers, servicemen and women, construction workers, dancers and politicians have all fallen prey to meth addiction. This is because addiction is a clinical, neurological disease that can strike anyone regardless of what the circumstances or substances in question are. Once addicted even the most intelligent and emotionally strong people cannot stop using on their own, despite even severe consequences.
Meth has dangerous consequences for addicts, but even occasional users can experience life-threatening complications as a result of using this stimulant. Meth causes severe heart, liver, kidney and pulmonary disorders that can be fatal. Other dangerous side effects and risks include seizures, psychotic episodes and severe depression with significant risk of suicide. Pregnant women who use meth subject their unborn child to the very real threat of becoming addicted to the substance. In fact, the dangers of meth are so severe that some estimates show that more than 8% of all emergency room visits in the United States in 2009 were attributed to meth use, and that approximately 15,000 people die each year directly from use of methamphetamines.
Federal and state governments have moved resolutely on the national meth addiction problem to no avail. Even after banning or completely controlling meth precursors, the drug is still readily made in makeshift laboratories all over the country. As is the case with other drugs, the facts tell us that we cannot control the supply of the drug and therefore we must control the demand by educating people about the dangers of meth addiction.