As I was channel surfing one night, I came across a programme that showed how officers of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) launched an operation to bust both drug traffickers and drug abusers. There were different types of drugs and devices confiscated during the operation and one of which that caught my attention was methamphetamine. Commonly known in short as 'meth' in street lingo, I thought it was just another party drug until I learned of the serious consequences that it brings.
Perhaps like many people of my age, I have heard so much in the media about how youngsters consume methamphetamine at social gatherings such as parties and nightclubs, and that it was relatively harmless since many people are dabbling with it. I was so wrong.
What shocked me were the facts I found regarding methamphetamine. Learning about the harmful effects of this drug made me feel uncomfortable and sick. The drug is a very addictive and strong stimulant that makes abusers temporarily alert and energised. Worse, it can make them feel paranoid and aggressive. Just reading about the effects of abusing this drug will change your mind.
Immediately after consumption, the abuser feels an intense sensation that is sometimes referred to as a 'rush'. This lasts only a few minutes. After the 'rush' subsides, some abusers may feel very agitated which could lead to violent behaviour. Some other immediate effects include increased alertness, insomnia, anxiety and heart attack.
Prolonged or sustained abuse of methamphetamine can lead to extremely negative physical effects such as:
- Permanent damage to the blood vessels of the heart and brain
- High blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and even death
- Liver, kidney and lung failure
- Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
- Respiratory problems if smoked
- Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
- Malnutrition and weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
I was also horrified to find out that its withdrawal symptoms lead to hallucinations such as insects crawling underneath the skin which in turn results in constant scratching. Other than that, side effects such as depression and aggression are possible.
Other withdrawal symptoms and side effects:
- Strong psychological dependence
- Psychosis (mental disorder where thoughts and emotions lose contact with external reality)
- Damage to the brain
Meth is neither just a party drug that has 'cool' names nor one that allows you to blend in with friends. It is a drug that leads to a life of regret.
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