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The Effects of Methamphetamine Use 1

The Effects of Methamphetamine Use Realize what you are doing to yourself! Cameron J. Gilbert University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Spring 2014

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Introduction/Background When is it going to be enough? When am I finally going to quit? When/How can I get more? The thought pattern of most drug addicts are in short, wild, random and focused on just one thing. Here comes your best friend knocking on the door, Methamphetamine. The life as a Meth addicted is a double-edged sword. The amazing effects of being on the drug but the side effects normally outweigh the benefits. Teeth rot, hair loss, skin picking, and those are just a few beginning a long list of side effects. Methamphetamine is just a death trap waiting to happen, a ticking time bomb. Would you really want to be there when the timer hits the end? The AMC series Breaking Bad shows the glamorous side of drug abuse and addiction. From making it to using it, making money, it goes through the life of being invincible to the world and the authorities. Although it is not always a bad monster; Methamphetamine has been approved by the USFDA for ADHD patients. Patients get the benefits of a tablet form that they can take orally versus the illicit black market Methamphetamine that you have to smoke. You also get the benefits from being an ADHD patient; you finally have focus and determination. Unfortunately the same benefits are followed by the same side effects and no one really wins. In this paper I aim to truly allow you to make a choice in your life if you do drugs and want to really know that it is not what it is made out to be on TV. Literacy Review Terms: AMC TV Series-Breaking Bad: The purpose of the show was to not only show the difficulties of making money for a disease but to show how the main character starts off as this very likable renowned person and slowly moves into the position of this dark ruthless creature.

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The character goes behind his wifes and brothers-in-laws back, who is a DEA agent, and makes Meth for money to help cure and get rid of his cancer. Walter is also making sure his family is well off after he dies. The story is full of drug users and the 2nd main character Jessie Pinkman, who was Walterss ex-student, helps create this massive drug empire, they go as far as using other houses to make and sell the Meth. As for appropriate behavior there is none, the story goes from secretive to close to being caught to running for his life and all back to secretive again. The main form of communication to Walterss secret life is through a pre-paid phone which he hides in the ceiling of his class. Any behavior that would endanger Walterss life or his family would be inappropriate at the least and in one episode the house that was bugged by his employer saved his life. I expect to find many discourse communities in Breaking Bad, the drug community, the second life community, the family community, workplace community, friend community and more. Breaking Bad not only excels in telling a great story it keeps you on edge and you cannot help but watch the next episode. Cartels: The rises of DTOS, Drug-Trafficking OrganizationS, in Mexico have developed massive crime rates on both sides on the border. These DTOS are detrimental to the United States economy. Although members of U.S. law enforcement attempting to stop these organizations have resulted in colossal casualties, they have not received the attention that other conflicts do. During the presidential debate this topic was not brought up once. The sale of Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana, and Meth has resulted in amazing profits, totally around $39 billion annually. The cartels have built a multibillion-dollar business including the shipment of immigrants and sex slaves, and many other illegal activities. Legalization has become very popular. The controversial topic that the war on drugs is helpless, while in reality, removing one money stream will not ruin the cartels as they can run completely without their drug stream. Not

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only that, but the U.S. would never allow drugs like Heroin and ecstasy to be legal anyways. Thus this keeps these money streams intact. Drug Trafficking In Foreign Countries: Recently the Turkish-Iranian border has seen drastic improvements in economic relations they have seen a 118 percent increase in the number of Iranians visiting Turkey and 66 percent increase in Iranian vehicles crossing the border. This also comes with a huge drug trafficking problem. From 2005-2007 and 2008-2010, 361 operations contained at least one Iranian suspect. Heroin was the highest drug that was seized. The second most seized drug was opium then cannabis and Methamphetamine. Only 23 percent was actually linked to an organized crime group while the other 76 percent was from individual drug trafficking attempts. There were seizures as low as 250 grams and from that ranging up to 5000 grams. This is nothing compared to the amount of drugs that is captured at the border from 2010 to 202. According to KOM, a total of 2.2 tons of Heroin, 570 kg of Meth and over 10 tons of cannabis was seized at the border. Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine also known as Meth is a psycho-stimulant. Meth is classified as a schedule II substance. This means it is only accessible by prescription only. Meth gives the user heighten awareness, concentration, energy and euphoria. Meth has a high degree of abuse in its user and is often hard to quit use. Meth Prevention and Treatment: The abuse of Methamphetamine is helped by prevention, treatment, and understanding of the drug. The drug causes changes in behavior, for instance: drug finding and taking behavior. When the drug was given to mice they reacted the same way as humans would on the drug. Mice when given a high dosage of Meth showed no sign of spatial memory retention versus mice that had a lower dosage. Mice with a high dosage

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were also considerably heavy than its counterparts. Although 2 weeks later the other mice developed the same weight. Some research suggests the link between drug abuse and obesity to be connected since drug use alters the way of the mine to not eat at ones hearts content. It was stated in the report that this theory requires future research. Thankfully for the researchers there were no conflicts of issue that would skew the data results. A 26 year old man is rushed to the ER after not seeing him for two days. They found him in his room with four empty syringes. His friends said that he had been a huge drug abuser since he had broken up with his girlfriend. The past few days he was a little irritated seeing her with another man. His friends said that he had used Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana, and Methamphetamine. The man is unconscious but he is able to be wakened. His skin looks well even with needle tracks. The rest of his body seems to be normal; thyroid, lymph nodes, neck veins. The lungs has scattered dry rales. This is also known as the crackles. All of this stemmed from being left by his girlfriend. The man turns out to be ok and is only a false alarm to his friends who deeply care about him. Meth Pipe: This kind of pipe unlike ones that you smoke tobacco in is glass in nature. It normally looks like a rose holder turned on its side. Meth produces an odorless smoke and is nearly undetectable. Other pipes known for Meth use are bongs, bubblers and homemade variants. Smoking Toxic Chemicals Leading to Lung Cancer: In Breaking Bad, Walter developed lung cancer in the first episode. He didnt get it from smoking meth, although it is possible to develop lung cancer from Meth or anything toxic in that matter. A study of 76,000 women confirmed an association between smoking and lung cancer. Although from this study there was no link between the disease and secondhand smoke. The incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in regular smokers and only four times higher in retired smokers than in non-

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smokers. It is very reassuring that passive smoke in the childhood home does not increase the risk of lung cancer, said Patel. There a non a lot of non-smokers in a smoker family. To avoid passive cigarette smoke it is better to change your social behavior so that you are not in a society where smoking is normal and happens daily. The only flaw is that measuring passive smoke inhalation is very hard to measure in a study. The articles goes on to state, We do not want people to conclude that passive smoking has no effect on lung cancer. The study just shows that there is no correlation between the two. What Methamphetamine Really Is: PBSs frontline launched an investigation about the Meth epidemic and Meth use. It was described as something that spiraled out of control and became the fastest-growing drug abuse problem. They then go onto describe how Meth use is far from an epidemic. In fact, the amount of regular users has just dropped to around 350,000. Deputy Brian King started to collect mug shots of Meth uses that came through the county jail. These mug shots show powerful visual evidence of Meths effects. The Meth Project takes fear to the end with graphic ads showing pimps and prostitutes on Meth. An ad shows warnings like 15 bucks for sex is not normal. But on Meth it is. The billboard uses a program called Face2Face shows what you could look like on Meth. The question is why would someone do that to themselves? Meth has been linked to increase a persons risk of Parkinson disease. Parkinsons disease is a disease that affects the central nervous system. This study was brought up by animals that were given the drug. It showed that the drug damaged the dopaminergic neurons. This is the same damage that happens to humans when the drug is used for an extended time. To test this researchers took death records and data from hospitals and compared the disease to Meth use. The researchers found that Methamphetamine was predominant when compared to Cocaine use. It showed a 75 percent higher risk with Meth. The Cocaine group had

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12 cases per 10,000 patients VS Meth having 21 cases for every 10,000 patients. The result showed that Parkinson disease was linked more to Meth than lifestyle choices relating to drug users. Although they did find that with Meth users who had the Parkinson disease had a lower dosage than those who developed the disease with no drug use. Methamphetamine is a very dominant drug that is illegally used in many ways. Those ways include smoking, snorting, injection, or an oral dosage. Meth gives the user feelings of energy, confidence, and euphoria, improved attention, and cognitive function. Meth is used as a treatment in ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. A Swiss study found that Meth was present in 9 percent of samples in DUID suspects due to minor traffic violations. 4 percent was found in traffic accidents where they killed someone. Although these studies show that Meth can hurt your reaction time, it can also improve your perceptual speed, vigilance, and psychomotor performance. Small amounts of Meth, less than .42 mg/kg, have little to no effect on the user. However, with heavy users, they have been associated with negative personality attributes. These attributes include impulsivity, aggressiveness, and antisocial behavior. To further explore these issues, there was a study conducted deriving the driving ability of current Meth users. This was an independent vs. dependant study. The scientific and medical communities now agree that drug dependence is a chrome disorder that requires a lot of care. However most of this is from literature that is mainly associated with the use of Heroin. Although most of these studies are in reality short-term studies, they do not show the whole picture. Comparing Cocaine and Meth to Heroin, Heroin has longer periods of addiction. Quitting Heroin will result in more drug use later down the road. Cocaine use has a shorter lifespan than any other drug discussed in this article. According to this article, Meth users are more likely to be white women while Heroin users are more likely to be Hispanic males. It was

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concluded that within the first 10 years quitting was possible but extremely difficult to achieve. Drug use patterns can fluctuate rapidly as well. These results show that there is a major need to stop drug use before it turns into a life decision. Entering the Conversation You might want to consider how I am credible at all versus a doctor, well because I am a fan of Breaking Bad and I see how Meth use and distribution is glamorized. I have never used Methamphetamine in my life. Not including common over the counter medicines used to treat some conditions that may include the drug but that is irrelevant. We are talking about the black market drug that you have to know the Right guy for. The question is do you really want to get yourself stuck in the Meth crowd? There are numerous places to get help for addiction. Including online, doctors offices, Universities, and even anonymous phone centers for addiction. Help is everywhere it is up to you to actually give in to treatment. There are a few things you need to make sure of before going through with treatment. The first one being a reliable source that focuses on the drug you need specific help for, i.e. Methamphetamine. The second thing is that you will go through withdrawal and you will survive it with proper treatment. Finally make sure the place you choose cares about you as much as you care about them. If not it will just be completely pointless to spend money and not even get the proper treatment. It all goes back to the first thing, make sure you choose the right facility. If you do not want to go in person, you can call the phone number 1-888-2995213, this is an addiction hotline that will be able to help you.

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Cartels can run on the money they make from you from drugs, but it is said in the media multiple times that the War on Drugs is a lost cause. Even if you do make a drug or all of them legal the cartels will still thrive in the black market economy. Cartels are not solely run by drugs they are often into pirating, smuggling, and stealing which will continuously keep them afloat. Conclusion If this paper made you realize that you might have an addiction or might need help. Talk to somebody. Do not let drug abuse dictate how you want to live your life. If you do not want to tell someone close there are counselors and people willing to help. In Breaking Bad; Jesse, Badger, and Skinny P, all go to a sort of AA group that focuses more on drugs like Methamphetamine than actually alcohol. It was a way to just talk. The original idea was to sell to the group members and make money off of them because of the lack of customers, and Jesse just wanting to make a profit. Badger and Skinny P actually start to go through the steps of rehab. Only after that they get dragged down again at a party with Jesse. There goes all the time they resisted the temptation but just a friend who knocks down doors just to party. More times better than not peer pressure creates a huge role in drugs and most do it as a social thing, To experience it together. Do not learn it the hard way, do you really want to live in a life where your body does not work, or you experience things that are not there. You decide.

Works Cited

The Effects of Methamphetamine Use 10 Bosanquet, David, et al. "Driving On Ice: Impaired Driving Skills in Current Methamphetamine Users." Psychopharmacology 225.1 (2013): 161-172. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Ekici, Behsat, and Ali Unlu. "Increased Drug Trafficking From Iran." Middle East Quarterly 20.4 (2013): 4148. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Gilbert, Cameron. Assignment One. Rep. 2014. Print. Hser, Yih-Ing, et al. "Comparing The Dynamic Course Of Heroin, Cocaine, And Methamphetamine Use Over 10 Years." Addictive Behaviors 33.12 (2008): 1581-1589. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Kuehn, Bridget M. "Meth Use Linked To Risk Of Parkinson Disease." JAMA: Journal Of The American Medical Association 306.8 (2011): 814. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Larson, Lyle W. "Drug Abuse Follows A Broken Heart." Clinician Reviews 23.6 (2013): 18-19. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Linnemann, Travis, and Tyler Wall. "This Is Your Face On Meth: The Punitive Spectacle Of White Trash In The Rural War On Drugs." Theoretical Criminology 17.3 (2013): 315-334. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. Morris, Evelyn Krache. "Think Again: Mexican Drug Cartels." Foreign Policy 203 (2013): 30-33. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Olsen, Reid H.J., et al. "Impaired Memory And Reduced Sensitivity To The Circadian Period Lengthening Effects Of Methamphetamine In Mice Selected For High Methamphetamine Consumption." Behavioural Brain Research 256.(2013): 197-204. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Peres, Judy. "No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking And Lung Cancer." JNCI: Journal Of The National Cancer Institute 105.24 (2013): 1844-1846. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.

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Above And Beyond:


Presentation of the Stages of Meth Use-

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