So what exactly are Amphetamines?
What is Methamphetamine?
How does it affect our mind and body?
Why is it the most impure illegal drug in the UK?
What are the effects of this harmfull drug?
What are the experts saying?
Well we all know it is a drug and the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, now the organisation called Drug Science says –
‘People cannot use drugs without a risk of being harmed.’ (1)
For the record Speed and Amphetamine in this article are exactly the same.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary tells us that Amphetamines is a synthetic mood-altering drug, used illegally as a stimulant. (2)
Here are some street names for Amphetamines
Whizz Speed Sulph Billy Base Fet Paste Uppers
Let’s see what FRANK has to say, which is a UK Government funded website (3)
Speed is the street name for the class B drug Amphetamine Sulphate.
Sometimes speed is used to refer to other types of amphetamines.
Speed is a stimulant and people take ‘speed’ to keep them awake, energised and alert.
Class B drug and that means possession is 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
If possession is with intent to supply or supply – it is 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
It can be snorted, swallowed (ingested), injected or smoked.
As a stimulant it increases your heartbeat and rate of breathing. As well as making people feel alert and energised, Speed creates sensations of confidence, a false sense of well-being, increased stamina and reduces any desire to eat and sleep. Users can become tense and anxious. (4)
Speed is often used as a party drug as it keeps you going.
It is a very impure drug and that means most of the powder in a wrap only contains 5-15% amphetamine sulphate. The dealer can make more profit if the Speed is cut with caffeine, starch powder, laxatives, talcum powder, paracetamol, ephedrine and sugars like glucose.
The Come Down –
Speed forces the body to produce extra energy. This is on a ‘loan basis’. When the body starts to replace the ‘borrowed’ energy the user can be left feeling tired, depressed and hungry. It is easy to get into a cycle of using amphetamines and then needing to use more just to get everyday tasks done.
Amphetamine Psychosis can also happen.
Methamphetamine is part of the amphetamine family of stimulant drugs. (5)
Other names for this dangerous drug are
Beannies Brown Chalk Crank Chicken Feed Cinnamon Crink Crypto Fast Getgo Methlies Quik Mexican Crack Pervitin (Czech Republic) Speed Tweak Tick Tick Redneck Cocaine Crazy Medicine Yaba (South East Asia) Yellow Powder Wash
Who comes up with these names and what is this Crazy Medicine?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic (man-made) chemical and comes in the form of white crystalline powder that is odourless, bitter tasting and dissolves easily in water or alcohol. It can be snorted, smoked or injected and some take it orally. (6)
Methamphetamine is a Class A drug and that means it is serious stuff, so possession means 7 years in prison and an unlimited fine. Possession with intent to supply or supply is Life in prison and an unlimited fine. (5)
Before we go any further can we just stop and re-read this.
LIFE IN PRISON for the possession of this drug if you supply or intend to supply.
What on earth is this telling us about a powerfull street drug?
Have we interviewed the dealers to see if they care about getting caught?
Are we aware of why this is classified as a Class A drug?
Why do we know so little about this ‘crazy medicine’?
Why are the media not informing us about the real harm of this drug?
Why is a prison sentence or unlimited fine not really stopping suppliers?
Why is there such a demand for a drug that is doing serious damage?
Methamphetamine is commonly manufactured in illegal hidden laboratories, mixing various forms of amphetamine or other chemicals to boost its potency. Common pills for cold remedies are often used as the basis for production of the drug. Ingredients are extracted from those pills and to increase strength it is combined with chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze. (6)
Hello – can we just stop right here and re-read the above.
This is a recipe for death and there is no getting away from that fact.
We know that if we drank battery acid or anti-freeze it would kill us.
Methamphetamine: Fact vs Fiction and Lessons from the Crack Hysteria –
If you do a quick search on the internet you can find plenty of “How to make meth” recipes. According to these recipes you can easily make it from a few common products and the most important one is over the counter cold medication – pseudoephedrine. (7)
This means that it is more readily available on the illicit market and more accessible to the poor, the marginalised and those wishing to avoid the medical establishment.
The production of homemade methamphetamine (known as Pervitin) in the Czech Republic was perfected in a simple process using an ephedrine-containing cough medicine available over the counter and this technique spread very quickly. (7)
Pervitin use and production are extensive in the Czech Republic today (Mravcik et al. 2011).
Did you know –
Meth cooks are drug users themselves?
Meth labs pose serious hazards to public safety?
These dangerous chemicals are potentially explosive?
These cooks often get severely burned or killed?
Nearby homes and buildings are affected in these explosions?
The production of one pound of methamphetamine produces six pounds of toxic waste?
People exposed to this waste material can become poisoned and sick?
Why are we not making enough noise to stop all illegal hidden laboratories?
Who are these manufacturers who think it is ok to profit in this way?
What drives people to make drugs that support others to kill themselves?
Why do we accept this or allow this to continue in our world today?
If a drug is less pure, containing only 5-10 percent of the desired compound, for example, then there is less of it to waste. Moreover, taking a drug by mouth can lead to only 10-20 percent bioavailability of the ingested dose. (7)
Bioavailability means the proportion of the dose of the drug that reaches its target – in this case the brain.
One of the reasons that the bioavailability of a drug is lower following oral administration is simply because enzymes in the liver specialise in breaking down chemicals, including methamphetamine in order to protect the brain and to make any poisons we eat less destructive.
This process is called first-pass metabolism.
It can significantly reduce the effective dose of a drug taken orally.
First-pass metabolism can be circumvented by injecting or smoking a drug.
Smoking and injecting produce more potent effects, the likelihood of harmfull consequences is increased with these methods.
Czech service providers hope that this method will encourage some people who use methamphetamines to shift from injection to oral use. (Mravcik et al. 2011).
Taking a drug by mouth is usually safer, as the stomach can be pumped in case of an overdose.
Also some of the drug will be broken down before reaching the brain.
OK – let’s just stop here and re-read this.
Have we lost the plot and is any of this making sense?
Is there a clue here about how intelligent our body is?
The fact that the liver immediately kicks in and does what it can to protect the brain?
The fact that it recognises poison entering the body and takes action?
Who thought of smoking and injecting to fool the body?
How serious is it that the bioavailability is more important to us than our own health?
Why is it that we need to alter the state of our brain or call it ‘mind’?
Why do we need to find a way round so we get the hit at the cost of our body?
Amphetamines reliably reduce fatigue and offset performance decrements, some may repeatedly take these drugs to lessen problems associated with sleep loss. This is less than an ideal approach. (Hart et al. 2014)
‘One of the most consistent effects of stimulants is the disruption of sleep, which means that repeated use could exacerbate problems related to sleep loss.’
‘Given the vital role that sleep plays in healthy functioning, regular users of amphetamine should be mindful of their sleep durations and avoid drug use near the sleep period.’ (7)
People who inject methamphetamine should be provided access to clean injection equipment.
For individuals who smoke amphetamine, harm reduction services should include access to clean pipes and plastic tips, filters, lip balm and smoking foil.
How is this going to deal with the root cause of WHY someone takes amphetamines?
Is being mindfull enough to combat our sleep issue?
Does our mind have another agenda to what our body is saying?
Why is anyone endorsing amphetamines when we know they are dangerous?
Are sterile injections going to end the deep rooted ill that creates drug dependency?
DO WE NEED TO BE ASKING OTHER QUESTIONS OUTSIDE THE BOX?
Welfare money was not enough to pay for our meth habit and support our son so we turned our rented home into a meth lab. We stored the toxic chemicals in our refrigerator not knowing that the toxins would permeate the other food in the icebox …
I did not know I was giving my son poisoned food as I was too stoned on meth to notice until 12 hours later. I was so stoned it took me two hours to figure out how to get him to the hospital five miles away. By the time I got to the emergency room my boy was pronounced dead from a lethal dose of ammonia hydroxide – one of the chemicals used to make meth. (6)
‘The first experience might involve some pleasure but from the start, methamphetamine begins to destroy the user’s life.’ (6)
Crystal Meth is short for Crystalline Methamphetamine. It is extremely powerfull and addictive. Some compare it to crack cocaine. (5)
Here are some street names for this drug
Batu Blade Cristy Crystal Crystal Glass Glass Hot Ice Ice Quartz Shabu Shards Stove Top Tina Ventana Tweak Meth Crissy Speed Puda Crank Shizzo The Magic Dragon
Crystal Meth comes in clear chunky crystals resembling ice and is most commonly smoked. (6)
It is used as a “club drug”, at nightclubs and rave parties.
It is a potent and dangerous chemical and as with all drugs, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body.
It is associated with serious health conditions including: aggression, memory loss, psychotic behaviour and potential heart and brain damage. (6)
This highly addictive drug burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug.
Check out the video documentary called The Truth about Crystal Meth on this website, that will leave you in no doubt as to the real harm of this party drug.
All the following have been taken from the video –
‘They told me meth would help me get through my exams – they lied.’
It looks like blades of glass
It comes in different flavours and colours
There is something called Peanut Butter Crank, which actually looks like peanut butter and it smells like peanut butter. It is pure speed. It is a more pure form of crystal meth.
Crystal Meth is made out of –
Anything from underneath the hood of your car
Anything under your kitchen sink
Muriatic Acid – used to clean bricks
It is Toxic poison – and has ingredients that would kill you or send you to the hospital.
For every one pound of meth made, there are six pounds of toxic waste.
It is going to cause irreversible damage.
People snort it, smoke it, shoot it (inject) and ingest it.
People take meth whatever way they can.
People have started using meth as young as 13.
One lady said she got into it because she wanted to impress a guy.
Others said they took it for Curiosity, Boredom or as a Social thing.
“My parents and my school sent me to a rehab because I got caught smoking weed in school. Met some people there. Started hanging out with them when I got out, they introduced me to it.”
Effects mentioned include –
Instant euphoria within 10-30 seconds of smoking it.
For some people the effects can last up to 12 hours.
When you come down it is like the complete opposite.
Drug dealer told one man to just get more, when he told them how he felt the next day.
Withdrawal symptoms –
Body would ache like the worse flu ever
Skin would turn yellow
There’s no stopping when you start
Lethargic all the time
It is really hard on your body
Hair Loss, bald patches
People can’t think straight
Psychotic symptoms – paranoia
Visual hallucinations – see things crawling up your arm and then picking at your arm to get them off.
Woman spent 6 hours picking her face in front of the mirror. Left with big gashes all over her face. Also had gashes all over her arms and legs.
Woman saying she was up for 8 days without sleep and food – watching the walls move.
A man was up for 37 days on meth. Said he could see police in his backyard and he called 911. It was a hallucination and his friends left him. The police did come to his house and took him away.
Admittance to mental health hospitals.
You go crazy on it because you are tweaking.
Urban Dictionary – Tweaking – Frantic and compulsive behaviour often associated with methamphetamine abuse (crank). People who regularly abuse crank may find themselves unable to stop a particular random activity like searching drawers, having sex or putting things apart. (8)
“You are just moving like 100 miles per hour, like in your head – your thoughts, everything is just going boom boom boom, like really fast.”
“You will start projects and stop being able to finish them.
You can’t concentrate on any one thing.
Just constant motion and you are doing absolutely nothing.”
Wanting to lie in bed and “sleep my life away.”
“The only way I could function is if I did just do a shot.”
“Just needed that, wanted it and was gonna do anything to get it at that point.”
“I would not have any problem going to your house, kicking your door and robbing you for everything you had. Just to get it.”
“Makes you not care that you are wasting your life away. Makes you not care that your sister cries at night because her brother is out committing crimes and manufacturing methamphetamines.”
Short and long term memory loss
Tendonitis – inflamed, irritated or torn tendons
One woman has permanent gum damage and permanent bone loss underneath her gum line.
This is known as ‘meth mouth’
Another woman had all her large intestines removed through surgery. They left her with 1 inch. She says “doing all that battery acid and muriatic acid and all that – it eats away not only at your teeth but every bone, your eyes. It kills you”.
One man has an eroded oesophagus. Current symptoms are really bad heartburn and even drinking water can burn his throat.
“I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to be able to function better on drugs.”
“Knowing what I know now, yeah I would have definitely avoided it.”
“Becoming addicted for just one try or just one time it’s not worth it, because that one time can kill you.”
“Look at the pictures, they don’t lie, the mug shots they don’t lie.”
“There is nothing cool about it and there is nothing fun about it.
It is deceiving at first but it will just take you to a place of going nowhere.”
“A couple of nights of fun can lead to a whole lifetime of destruction.”
Why do scientists and researchers think that we the public are undiscerning?
Why do they think ‘over-blown worst-case anecdotes’ are not for the popular press?
Why are they thinking that empirical evidence is the only way?
How can we ignore any anecdotal evidence when it is staring us in the face?
Why are our governments wanting more research and proof before any real action is taken?
Is this a delay thing that does not address our worldwide drug problem?
Why is none of this making any sense?
Why are things not changing or making any real difference if these methods were truly working?
Could it be that anecdotal evidence would show us that we do not need tons of money to be spent on confirming, claiming or proving something that is staring us in the face?
Could it be that simple?
From lived experience, I can honestly say that I can easily relate to true stories, real life accounts and facts of what is going on and then use a common sense approach to bring understanding.
President George W. Bush proclaimed 30th November 2006 as National Methamphetamine Awareness Day (9)
The day is meant to educate Americans about the effects of methamphetamine abuse on communities and families. It is hoped to increase awareness and decrease the demand for methamphetamines. (10)
‘Human laboratory data are at odds with anecdotal reports and conventional wisdom’
(Hart et al. 2014)
Is there a clue here for all of us?
Do we need to go beyond beliefs and actually stick to real life facts?
In other words – things that are actually happening to us as individuals and this is the proof?
We as humans are all living sciences and is it time we are studied and by that I mean real life day in and day out to get a snap shot of what is truly going on?
Why are we ignoring real life science?
Who benefits here and at what cost to society?
Are we really evolving with our reliability on science-based evidence?
Could it be possible that there is more and we need to look at the more?
Could it be possible that a common sense approach may just work?
Human recreational drug users generally start with small amounts and increase their doses gradually as their drug use progresses.
So why are we using animals in a lab to give us results that are not really real life?
Time to get our common sense hat on and get real.
Any controlled conditions, experiments or whatever they do in a laboratory is never going to be the same as real life. Can we agree on that?
You don’t have an animal in a lab wanting to party all night.
You don’t have an animal wanting to smoke or inject to alter the state of their mind.
You don’t have an animal wanting to check out and not feel what is going on in their life.
You don’t have an animal making the choices of an amphetamine user.
You don’t have an animal with the past history that a meth user might have.
Why are carefully controlled double blind investigations not cutting it?
Why are we not buying it and is it because it simply is not the real deal?
Why do we need to control an outcome?
What is this really telling us when we have real life stories like the video in this blog?
Why is it that our world is so focused on scientific based evidence and ignoring real people who are a living science?
What if empirical evidence is only as reliable as the person observing, who let’s face it might have their own issues OR do we assume that scientists experience no problems or issues in their lives?
Hart et al. 2014 –
‘… there are real documented potential negative consequences associated with this drug. For instance, methamphetamine abuse is associated with multiple deleterious medical consequences, including paranoia mimicking full-blown psychosis (Grelotti et al. 2010) and hypertensive crisis leading to stroke (Ho et al. 2009).’ (7)
‘… methamphetamine “makes crack look like child’s play, both in terms of what it does to the body and how hard it is to get off”. (Butterfield 2004). The paper also claimed “Because users are so highly sexualized, the children are often exposed to pornography or sexual abuse, or watch their mothers prostitute themselves” (Zernike 2005).’ (7)
The Montana Meth Project on methamphetamine use indicated that the advertisement campaign had no effect when pre-existing downward trends in methamphetamine use were taken into account (Anderson 2009).
What are the potential negative consequences when we present exaggerated or misleading information about drugs to young people?
The Montana Meth project is a methamphetamine prevention project in the USA.
Some educators and health professionals have expressed concern that the types of embellishment used by the Montana Meth Project decrease credibility and relevance and this then has a knock on effect. Our youth are then more likely to reject other valuable drug-related information from ‘official sources’ even when the information provided is accurate.
The project is simply made up and the question we should be asking is –
WHY do we need scare tactics when we have enough real life anecdotal evidence like the video quoted in this blog?
The raw truth here is that there is clearly no evidence to confirm that this project is preventing drug use. However, the Meth Project remains popular with some officials and continues to use ways to bring fear but no real change. (11)
In the USA, new laws have been implemented in response to the increased negative advertising campaign waged against the drug. These laws focus on both methamphetamine and compounds used to make the drug illegally (also known as precursors).
Amphetamine tablets were available over the counter in the USA until the early 1950’s (Maxwell and Rutkowski 2008).
The Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act 1996, raised criminal penalties for trafficking and the production of methamphetamines. This law also restricted precursors including ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in over the counter cold medicines (Franco 2005)
The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005, placed further restrictions on pseudoephedrine. Pharmacists and sellers had to place them behind the counter. Buyers had to show state-issued identification and sign a log that could be used to track their purchases (Gonzales et al. 2010). Fearing that this would decrease sales, many pharmaceutical companies replaced pseudoephrine with phenylephrine, which is less effective as a nasal decongestant. (Eccles 2007)
‘Amphetamine is a class of chemical compounds that includes drugs used for both medical and recreational purposes. Of this class, d-amphetamine and methamphetamine are approved in several countries to treat a variety of disorders including attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and obesity.’ (7)
Well we all know kids are diagnosed with ADHD, so are we prescribing a dangerous drug just so that they can focus and pay attention?
Is that the real answer here or is this a solution to help them function?
Are we addressing the real root cause of why a child has ADHD?
What happens if the use of amphetamines is stopped?
Narcolepsy in case you don’t know is a chronic sleep disorder where there is no regular normal sleep pattern.
So is amphetamine prescribed to keep them awake and alert the answer?
Are we making the sleep problems worse in the long term?
Are we using drugs to function better, but not deal with the deeper issue?
Why are we not addressing why the body needs to shut down and sleep at irregular times?
Obesity – Amphetamines are known to suppress appetite, but do we ever stop and look at the long-term effects that this drug can have on a person’s life?
‘In carefully controlled laboratory studies of human research participants, d-amphetamine and methamphetamine produce nearly identical physiological and behavioural effects (Martin et al. 1971; Sevak et al. 2009 Kirkpatrick et al. 2012) They both increase blood pressure, pulse, euphoria and desire to take the drug in a dose-dependent manner.
Essentially, they are the same drug.’ (7)
In New Zealand and the United Kingdom – d-amphetamine remains available for medical purposes but any use of methamphetamine which includes medical use is banned.
NOTE – d-amphetamine and methamphetamine are essentially the same drug.
(Kirkpatrick et al. 2012).
HELLO – is this making any sense?
We have two different classes of drugs and yet we are told it is essentially the same.
In 2013, it was estimated that there were between 13,870,000 – 53, 870,000 amphetamine users. (12)
A substantial proportion of illicit drug users are unwilling to disclose information about their use, especially to government-sponsored survey takers.
Amphetamines are the 2nd most commonly used drug. The 1st is Marijuana. (13)
In 2012, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, state that markets for methamphetamine are growing faster than for other amphetamine type stimulants, known as ATS, fueled in part by significant increases in East and Southeast Asia, the United States and Mexico.
Younger people are seeking treatment for amphetamine use disorders. The average age recorded is 25. (13)
World Drug Report 2016 (13)
There has been a large increase in the use of amphetamines in East and South-East Asia. There is also a ‘large and growing market’ for both methamphetamine tablets and crystal meth in both of these regions.
Men are 3 times more likely to use amphetamines than women.
2014 – 108 tons of methamphetamine were seized. An increase of 21% on the previous year.
2014 – 46 tons of amphetamines were seized. An increase of 15% on the previous year.
Seizure data alone is not giving us a real and true picture because it may just be reflecting better investments in policing rather than real increases in production. Declines in seizures may reflect producers’ improved ability to evade capture rather than a real decline in production. (7)
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
People receiving treatment for Amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
Increase in the use of Methamphetamine tablets.
People receiving treatment for Amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
Increase in the use of Methamphetamine tablets.
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
Increase in the use of Methamphetamine tablets.
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
People receiving treatment for Amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
Increase in the use of Methamphetamine tablets.
The Republic of Korea
Crystal Meth was the primary drug of concern.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Methamphetamine tablets were the main drug of concern.
People receiving treatment for Amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
People receiving treatment for Amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
Methamphetamine tablets were the main drug of concern.
People receiving treatment for amphetamine use accounted for the largest share of people treated for drug use.
In 1996 the government banned all uses of amphetamine, including those for medical purposes (Pilley and Perngpam, 1998).
Increase in the use of Crystal Meth.
Increase in the use of Methamphetamine tablets.
Australia had the arrival of ‘large-scale shipments’ of crystal meth in sea cargo. A report from the Australian government has highlighted the ‘growing number of methamphetamine users’. (13)
Research from the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use found that individuals seeking treatment for methamphetamine use dramatically increased in the Western Cape Province of South Africa between 2002 and 2011 (SACENDU 2012).
Could it be possible that the number of clandestine amphetamine laboratories has risen which correlates to the increased number of people seeking treatment for amphetamine use problems?
There is a mandatory death penalty for possession of 30 grams of methamphetamine.
Executions can be drawn out and extremely painful. (Mogelson, 2012).
People seek stimulants for personal reasons, which could be work related or recreational. So it will be of no surprise that methamphetamine is the most frequently abused amphetamine.
‘Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that amphetamine causes a release of monoamines from brain cells.’ The effects on behaviour are ‘elevating mood, increasing alertness and vigilance, while decreasing tiredness and sleepiness. (e.g., Hart et.al. 2003, 2005).’ (7)
These effects can be beneficial for individuals required to work extended hours or workers who have to perform at the circadian nadir of alertness.
‘Undoubtedly, this is the reason that several nations’ militaries have used (and continue to use) amphetamine since World War II (Caldwell and Caldwell 2005). The drug helps soldiers fight better and longer. The performance enhancing benefits are widely recognised by students and professionals in almost every field from athletics to zoology.’ (7)
Now this is a big fat HELLO
So here we have a mind altering drug that is dangerous and yet it is used by students and professionals to push past their natural state.
At what cost is this to our human body?
Why are we not all well informed about this harmfull drug?
Why are we expecting our military to ‘fight better and longer’?
Why are we not stopping to consider the long term effects on our soldiers?
Why are we ignoring our body and using this drug to be more alert?
Why do we need a drug to elevate our mood?
Why do students feel they have to take this drug to perform?
Why are we choosing to suppress our body saying it is tired?
Why do our workers need to work extended hours in the first place?
Do we question what is going on in our life that requires this drug in the first place?
How can these effects be beneficial to anyone if we are being honest?
Let us put our common sense hat on for one moment.
You have a class of drugs that can have a prison sentence. This means it is serious.
We all know that every single drug alters the state of your mind.
Do we have a RESPONSIBILITY here?
‘We need to show those that fail to understand the issues at hand, whether through ignorance, prejudice or self-interest, that reducing drug harms benefits everyone, not just those that take them.’ (14)
‘… governments need to radically rethink how they approach drugs …
The truth about drug harms is that we have the power to reduce them now – without changing the law, without lobbying about policy and without the need for a complicated campaign.
We can do it through evidence, anywhere and everywhere. We need to disseminate good information and challenge bad.
We need to question the media’s portrayals of drugs issues and research and call them to account when they get things wrong.’ (15)
Professor David Nutt, DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FMedSci, Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, is the Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College London.
Professor Nutt is also President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), UK Director of the ‘European Certificate in Anxiety and Mood Disorders’ and the ‘Masters in Affective Disorders’ courses jointly administered by the Universities of Maastricht, Bristol and Florence.
He is also the editor of the Journal of Psychopharmacology, advisor to the British National Formulary and on the MRC Neuroscience Board.
So here we have a kingpin on the subject of drugs with a website that is asking for donations.
Why are we not backing this man who clearly is doing his best to educate the world about the harmful effects of drugs and the truth about how drugs actually affect us all?
Why is research limited or not available for something that is destroying lives?
Why are we not making noise to get our governments to fund this type of research?
Why are we not asking WHY questions every single day so that those in power take note?
Why is the WHY question not going on at every possible meeting or dinner table?
We have a global problem on our hands and what is obvious is there is simply not enough truth being exposed about these so-called ‘party drugs’.
Why is it that the media do not make this front-page headlines so we really get it?
Why is social media not making this their way of advertising so the world is alerted?
Why is social media not really being used to expose the Raw Truth about Drugs?
Taking any drug for any reason affects us ALL as Professor David Nutt says and there is no getting away from that.
Would it not be wise to at least stop and ask questions as to what is truly going on that we need to take amphetamines in any form?
Why is a dangerous drug like Crystal Meth being manufactured at such high risk?
Why are rave parties not stopped when we know this drug is being used?
Why are nightclub owners allowing this to continue?
Why is it that we want to stay up all night and party?
Why do we think it is ok to trash our body at the expense of a night out?
Trashing our body because we can is a choice, but what is the real damage?
If it affects the all, then that means society in the long term foots the bill? Correct?
Why are we not bothered about how this might affect our family or community?
Why do young people take these drugs to study?
Why do we need to take these drugs to keep going?
Why are we willing to dis-regard our body to such an extent?
Why is drug education not on the agenda for all our schools?
Who is accountable if some of our military are using these drugs today to ensure they perform beyond their natural state?
Do we care really?
Are we bothered about the long-term affects?
What about all the side effects of this dangerous drug?
Are we uncomfortable enough to actually do something and express our truth?
Is it all about scientific based evidence and dismissing real life anecdotal evidence?
Do we need to wait for more videos or is even one enough to show us the real harm?
Is empirical evidence our only way forward when we all have common sense?
Why are governments not uniting to end global drug abuse?
Why are our prisoners getting access to drugs?
Is it time we started to look closely at what is going on here on earth and what a mess we are in?
This drug business is out of control and this blog confirms the global scale of just one drug and let’s get real, we don’t have the accurate statistics because we can’t.
We all know people are doing dodgy stuff and no way are they going to be upfront and take part in any survey especially for government statistics.
So we have diluted facts and then we have to dig deep and look at who is funding these research projects. Then we have to ask the million dollar question –
Why is Professor David Nutt a real big wig on the subject not being funded? Is it because he is Independent and not taking sides?
Or is it because he may just expose the Truth that we are not ready for?
Next – we all know that campaigning, making noise, joining this and that may have some effect, but the Raw Truth is we are not able to control our global drug problem that is rapidly growing.
The solutions we are coming up with are not stopping anything.
So is there another way?
Have we stopped to look at the root cause of WHY anyone needs to take amphetamines?
What is actually going on that leads someone to take an artificial substance that is mind altering?
Is it time to look at our way of Living, that may be contributing to our ill choices?
Is it time we looked at the bigger picture and not just focus on the reactions of drugs?
Is it time we went deeper and looked into WHY people take drugs in the first place?
We were not born needing or wanting drugs, so what happened to us?
At what point did we take our first smoke or snort?
How are we living and what are the daily choices we are making?
What is it that we are avoiding and don’t want to deal with?
What happened to us that we don’t want to go there and admit?
They call Methamphetamine ‘crazy medicine’. It is insane and crazy tells us it is out of one’s mind or not in one’s right mind. So could this be a simple clue that holds truth?
Taking this drug confirms you are out of your mind. The body cops the ill choice you make and has to deal with the effects.
Why are we not taking RESPONSIBILITY?
We each have a responsibility to live in a way that is not harming self or others.
We also have a responsibility to get our act together and then by our living way inspire others to do the same.
We call ourselves the most intelligent species on earth and yet this blog clearly exposes this ‘so called intelligence’, is not getting to the root cause of why amphetamines harm the human body and destroys lives.
Could it be possible that there is another way and that is to get to the root cause of why we need to take drugs in the first place and until then we will never evolve from this worldwide drug issue?
(1) Drug Science
(2) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011
(3) Speed. FRANK
(4) Drug, Solvent and Alcohol Abuse Counselling – Level 4 Diploma Course.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges
(5) Methamphetamine. FRANK
(6) The Truth About Crystal Meth and Methamphetamine. Drug Free World http://f.edgesuite.net/data/www.drugfreeworld.org/files/truth-about-crystalmeth-booklet-en.pdf
(7) Hart, C.L., Csete, J., & Habibi, D. (2014). Methamphetamine: Fact Vs. Fiction and Lessons from the Crack Hysteria. Open Society Foundations.
(8) Tweaking. Urban Dictionary
(9) Proclamation 8086 – National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, 2006. November 27, 2006. The American Presidency Project
(10) National Meth Awareness Day – November 30. National Day Calendar. http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-meth-awareness-day-november-30
(11) The Meth Project
(12) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). World Drug Report. (p. 1). New York, 2015
(13) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). World Drug Report. (p. x, xi, p.1, p.9, p.13, p.52-53). New York, 2016
(14) Nutt, D. (2014, April 28). It’s Time for a Drug Revolution. Drug Science. Retrieved August 10, 2016 from
(15) Nutt, D. (2014, April 28). The Unexpected Truth About Drugs. Drug Science. Retrieved August 10, 2016 from
This is such an informative blog. I have learnt so much about drug taking and I have much more understanding about why we use drugs from reading this blog, compared to all of the courses I have been on to learn about drugs. The difference here is that there is clearly so much understanding from the writer – that I feel my judgements slipping away as I read. Most of the courses I’ve been on have focused on drug management. Looking at them now, I feel that there has been an air of superiority from those presenting and attending, (including myself) like ‘I know best.’ and a sense that we’re trying to fix people. The writer of this blog is not trying to make anyone change or give up drugs. This blog just comes from the FACT that any drug use is harm full and is questioning why we use them as we’re not born taking drugs. Thank you Simple Living Global for presenting the Raw Truth yet again about what is occurring in our world today.
This is great Shevon that you are saying this blog is informative and you have learned much more and have a greater understanding than all the drug courses you have attended. Just this point alone is worth questioning.
Why are courses not delivering more?
What is missing in our drug courses?
Does this have a direct effect on why we have not got to the root cause of WHY people take drugs?
Are our drug courses giving us facts but not really linking it all, so we get the big picture?
Could it be possible that the information we rely on so heavily does not give us all the answers?
You say that you can feel ‘understanding’ from the writer. Is this what is needed as a teacher, presenter, service provider or drug worker?
Is it a deeper level of understanding of self first and then others that will make a difference and knock out the ‘superiority’ you mention?
What if we are not here to ‘fix’ people, get results, make it a mission or set goals to change drug users ?
You are correct the writer is not trying to change anyone or ask them to give up drugs.
What the writer is presenting is nothing has worked so far so could it be possible that there is there another way that could be simple and easy?
What if we are here to live a life of true RESPONSIBILITY and in that consistency we will have the deeper connection, which can then inspire others to know that there is another way.
Like you Shevon, I have a much deeper understanding after reading this blog, of our world drug problem, why it exists and what is missing in our attempts to deal with it.
Imagine if this blog were presented as a power point course to every student in every school around the world (for a start)? Would this not begin to bring a much needed awareness to the true harm that drugs bring to our bodies, our lives and all to all of us as a society? …And how could we not do this… now that we have been offered such a clear picture of the real threat and horrendous harm that drugs represent ??
You make a great point Jo Elmer about how we could start to educate our youth about this harmful drug and with understanding there is a possibility that some may take note and not go down the road of any drug which lets face it is mind altering and not our natural state.
This blog lifts a huge veil of ignorance off the subject of Meth. The first thing I thought of when I read the title was of a show that aired a couple of years ago called ‘Breaking Bad’ – Yes their were grim moments and realities of the drug world were similar but it was covered in a layer of glamor for the TV, it wasn’t something that was starkly allowing you to see the reality of what this drug entails. With anecdotal evidence you get the sense that the person has an authority on the subject as they have lived it and not just theorised, a feeling of the person who has experienced the situation and in that there is more inspiration to change or say no to drugs. Because an actor or a drugs education teacher reading off a sheet of fear tactics doesn’t come with the same affect that lived experience being shared brings. It’s the ‘Do as I say not as I do’ approach which has never worked, look at religions claiming to ‘love thy neighbour’ and yet go to war or hate or barely tolerate one another, or even as simple as parents telling their children to not do something while they do it themselves. This blog alone opens up so many conversations on every aspect of life.
I agree Leigh Matson that this blog does ‘open up so many conversations on every aspect of life’. Topics such as this need to be more in the public awareness if we are to ever deal with what is going on in our world. Everyone knows and can at some level feel this are escalating out of control and drugs is now such a big part of society that its time we really started talking about it. Saying nothing changes nothing and we all know that one.
I agree with your comment Shevon – I too learnt a lot about drugs in our world today on reading this well researched well informed blog. Thank you Simple Living Global for starting this much needed conversation.
This is great that some of you are saying you have ‘learnt a lot about drugs in our world today’ because of what Simple Living Global are presenting. We plan to continue in our series called The Raw Truth about Drugs and upload one blog a month about drugs and this will of course include sugar and alcohol. We tend to thing drugs as crack cocaine but rarely do we say sugar is a drug.
Simple Living Global does research to bring awareness and alert humanity of the raw truth about what is going on. This is not campaigning, fighting to bring change or anything like that. Just a website dedicated to expressing what we all know is the truth in a simple easy access down to earth language.
Websites like this are needed so more people have access to the facts about what is going on in our world today.
If the world was a business who on earth would invest in buying shares?
Lets get real – we all know just from these statistics presented on this blog and all those posted on other blogs on this website thus far, that it is not a business that is successful or doing well by any account.
Websites like Simple Living Global are in it for the long haul and just reading the news headlines there will always be something to write about to alert the world that something is clearly not working every week.
It has been a year and we have delivered a quality blog every week and there is nothing that will stop us continuing to do the same for next year.
As I gather the real story about drugs as presented by this author, as collected from former users and statistics gathered from the field of real-life I find it absurd that we could still be fussing around “In carefully controlled laboratory studies…”! Is anyone actually thinking that we need to “prove” drugs to be harmful or show how drugs damage the body and mind? Is this just busy work to look like we care… or what?
We need to use common sense in order to take responsibility… Is this why there seems to be so little common sense being used these days? Are we not willing to deal with the mess we are in? …because our struggles and suffering wont get any better until we do…
Like the author, let us see the harm, name it, ask questions about it and about ourselves and feel into why the issue exists… This, I feel, can truly lead us out of the painful mess of drug seeking, drug production, drug selling, drug taking and all the multiple resultant & complicated harms.
I realize it starts with me, being being willing to see and feel what is going on.
This really is a top comment Jo Elmer. You are so right – why on earth are we trying out controlled laboratory studies when we all know deep down that any drug harms the human body and that means it is abuse to our body.
Common sense and taking Responsibility would make a huge difference if we all started using them today in our everyday life. What you say makes sense “our struggles and suffering won’t get any better until we do..”
Thank you for confirming that this blog is asking questions and it is high time we all started talking about topics like this and opening our eyes to what is really going on.
On another note –
If humanity was a business its share prices would not be worth anything as there is certainly no steady growth in the right direction.
I find it startling to note that Japan and China, for example, have an increasing use of Crystal Meth; two of the world’s largest economies that are very fast-paced. Considering that people use stimulants for work-related as well as recreational purposes – is the increased use of this drug an indicator that this fast paced society can only be sustained through the use of stimulants? As Amphetamines can be used as a performance enhancing drug, have we put our emphasis on performance over and above the effect on our body and well-being?
This is a very interesting angle to draw out about Japan and China. It cuts through the picture I have in my head about drugs – about dark alleys and needles, pills on the dancefloor, bankers snorting cocaine. The idea is confronting that drugs could become a society’s norm for ‘getting through the day’ at work when demands are so high. Something for government, industry leaders and all of us to have a hard look at. There is something very broken if people feel what they can bring to the workplace is simply not enough. Come to think of it, don’t coffee consumption statistics the world over offer us the same reflection?
In response to your comment JS – could it be possible that our start point is we do not feel enough and that comes with us to our workplace. Those at the top also do not feel enough and so more and more is needed and wanted and demanded. Its called ‘business’ and in our modern world it has become one of more more more.
On that note the drugs used to keep going for whatever reason or to numb the pain, hurt, agony and misery of life are on the rise but not once do we question WHY is the world relying on artificial deeply harmful substances and turning a blind eye to the real consequences to human life.
There could be a message in what you are saying here Shevon about how two of the worlds largest fast paced economies are having increased use of Crystal Meth.
Has the fast paced got something to do with increased use as you say. Performance in these countries is known and maybe there is more here to examine, discuss and dig deeper. The word QUALITY comes to mind as these countries manufacture and offer our world plenty of material stuff but the question is what is behind the quality if we have statistics telling us something is not right?
Thank you Simple Living Global for this detailed account of what is really going on in our world with Amphetamines. It has been really educational to read. I had no idea of the degree of this level of abuse that is going on globally, or the substances used and the effect they have on the body and mind. Clearly the solutions are not making any difference. A call for responsibility with how we are living and why people reach for these substances, to have an understanding of themselves so able to address what lies beneath makes sense for this very serious global problem.
Great that you have found this blog ‘educational’ Ruth. The author of this blog is not claiming to have any form of formal education but nevertheless is committed to writing and expressing what is needed so the world can wake up and read what one earth is really going on. Once we read we cannot ‘un-read’ and once we feel, we cannot ‘un-feel’ if that makes sense.
Solutions will never work as it does not address the root cause. Talking to someone in the community yesterday, who is using the force inside their mind to stop alcohol and cocaine may not be the answer. Having been witness to this over and over again, WHY abstaining in this way does not work is not once is it ever considered that maybe when they started drinking alcohol or taking drugs, something was actually going on for them in their life that led them on this substance addiction road. When you open up a conversation like this they tend to have an ‘a-ha’ moment and recall there was something. It is this we need to address and inspire another how to deeply connect to their inner-most essence, in other words who they truly are, if we are to see any real change in our drugs issues.
On the real life example mentioned here, the person has a father who has been addicted to alcohol and this is the memory of their whole childhood experience. There is more but you get an understanding why someone does what they do instead of judging them.
There is a world wide trend; I have been seeing it, feeling it and being part of it for way too long. We are en-mass not taking individual responsibility to live the truth of who we are; we are cheating our hearts and Not getting away with it. We all know it we just don’t want to fess up.
(to “fess up” is a common phrase in the USA meaning to admit or confess to something)
I feel we are all running from our choice not to take full responsibility and that this ‘avoidance’ is not only the cause of our own un-ease but it gives the world permission to live life wrong side out; to live with all the trappings or distractions but empty of the true heart felt experience of living each day true-to-who-we-are and able to meet (see) children and others for who they are.
Now that I know people who are choosing to develop deeper self honesty and responsibility in their own lives (one step at a time, bringing more presence & care into all the little things) and by their inspiration have been able to put my own life right side up, I understand how powerful this is and I Know this is what our world is missing and that No other substitutes will do the job…
Great point you make here Jo about there being a ‘world wide trend’ and it is about us ‘en-mass not taking individual responsibility to live the truth of who we are’.
However, this may sound a bit way off, whacky or out there if you are taking this crazy medicine or any other drug. But what if there is truth in your statement?
What if this blog is presenting another way to live that is possible?
What if ‘no other substitutes will do the job’ as you say?
Is it time to be open to the possibility that we may just have the answers inside us and no more research is needed?
Could it be possible that we need to put our common sense hat on and bingo we may just know what to do and what not to do?
An article in the Guardian published on 25th September 2016, tells us of how the invasion of France during World War II was only possible because the tank commanders were high on drugs.
Pervitin ( methamphetamine) was the drug of choice.
‘In 1940, as plans were made to invade France through the Ardennes mountains, a “stimulant decree” was sent out to army doctors, recommending that soldiers take one tablet per day, two at night in short sequence, and another one or two tablets after two or three hours if necessary. The Wehrmacht ordered 35 million tablets for the army and Luftwaffe, and the Temmler factory increased production.’
This is the first time that I am reading this and it really makes sense. How else can a war of this nature be sustained, if some kind of some kind of substance that alters our natural state is not used? War is not a natural way for us relate to each other and so we must have to put ourselves into a very unnatural state to fight in any World War.
Thank you for this reminder about drug use in war and how powerful drugs can be to enable soldiers to override their humanity. It’s a truly sad state of affairs. I am reminded of reading about ‘Modafinil’ some time back – the drug that enables you to ‘time shift’ as you can take it and not sleep for 2 days. One of the use cases was apparently those in combat. How useful for them not to have to sleep and the aim was for them to have a ‘smoother’ experience of that compared to amphetamines. Now you have exam-pressured teens buying it off the internet in the hope it will help them get ahead. I would call that ‘tragic medicine’.
This article link that you mention here Shevon is well worth reading. What sticks out is that the drug allowed 50 hours work without fatigue. But was it ever considered what the harmfull side affects would be?
Now consider 35 million tablets to supply soldiers to stay alert and do what they are told and then the factory increased production. This is serious stuff.
How un-natural does it get?
We as humans do not innately have anything that divides and separates us. You can put it to the test with our babies and children. So something happens as we grow up and we start to deviate from our natural state.
What an incredible expose. So many statistics and so many hard hitting questions. It leaves no doubt that it truly is time for us to ask WHY.
I met someone recently who organises exclusive parties on a grand scale. He hires out private residences and hosts hundreds to thousands of well heeled party-goers every month in various countries. He shared how drugs are at the centre of it all. Apparently, ‘back in the day’ (early 1990s), the drugs were ‘light’ and brought people together, compared to now when even cocaine is considered a ‘baby’ drug. People now are looking for the harder stuff that cuts off their sense of risk and the behaviour at these parties follows accordingly – unprotected group sex, extreme fetish etc. with no sense of who you are with and little or no memory of it after. And that’s what these parties are about – the drugs. They would be nothing without them. What are they seeking? Intimacy and connection? Trying to find a more they feel there must be? An escape from the emptiness? Thousands of people coming together like this. Not caring what happens.
I have had my own small experience of this on the club scene growing up. I heard the stories – a guy whose jaw burned away because of what his speed was cut with; people sitting dead all night with people dancing around them… Noone listened. It didn’t feel real enough.
What will make it feel real enough?
What you are sharing here JS is valuable as it comes from real life.
We are never going to get statistics about these ‘well heeled party-goers’ who consider cocaine as a ‘baby drug’. They want the hard stuff to bury something and this is what we are not talking about.
When we alter our natural state, which lets face it is WHY people want to go to these parties – we do not have to take any RESPONSIBILITY. If these drugs can numb and bury everything and forget what happened the next day we want this. It serves us. It helps us to keep going and never question anything. It helps us function and operate in life.
Unprotected group sex and extreme sexual behaviour where thousands are going is speaking volumes. These people are not the drug addicts we label in society or those living in deprived areas. This is the good, nice, better than most, who hold down jobs, have money and live like perfect citizens.
Without blaming the organisers and all those who choose to attend with their own Free Will – how is this contributing to our nations health and well-being?
How is this supporting our Youth?
How are we behaving as role models for our future generations?
WHY are these parties so popular now?
Remove the drugs factor, as you say JS then what would happen is the question?
Would we all have to get real and get honest about what is going on in our life.
But are we ready for another way of living?
If not – then WHAT ARE WE AVOIDING AND WHY?
Australia’s largest rehabilitation service – Odyssey House have released an annual report saying Amphetamine addiction has become the leading problem for 1 in 2 people seeking treatment for drug and alcohol dependence.
CEO Julie Babineau tells us –
Get it more pure
If things get expensive, users will substitute the drug with alcohol.
Alcohol has remained a significant problem during the year.
By the way the statistics are already out of date so what is the real true figure today?
“The average age for first intoxication with alcohol or other drugs was as young as 12-13 years old, compared to 16-17 year olds noted in 2003.
So what exactly is this report telling us about one country?
Reading this blog you will be left in no doubt that this is a global problem and it is not going away.
If we study and read between the lines in this news article, it would be fair to say that drug users will do what it takes to get the stuff to alter their natural state of being.
WHY were our older teenagers going to drugs and alcohol back in 2003?
WHY has the age got younger and what is this saying about the future?
What on earth is going on at home and school?
WHY are our kids not communicating?
WHY are our children not choosing to share what they truly feel?
WHY are we not role models for our youth today?
WHY are the adults in our community not doing their bit?
Where is our RESPONSIBILITY as parents or custodians of our youth today?
WHY are we not able to collectively come together and discuss this global crisis?
WHY are we not going to the root cause of WHY our kids are turning to alcohol and drugs in the first place?
Is this making sense?
This is a powerful article on the dangers and addictiveness of this very harmful drug.
With amphetamine being created in Germany in the late 1800’s and methamphetamine being created by the Japanese chemist, Akira Ogata in 1919, these drugs have been around for quite some time.
I have just finished a book called “BLITZED” by Norman Ohler.
It tells the story of how the entire German armed forces and a great many of the German population were taking methamphetamines in a product called ‘Pervitin’. It also tells how Adolf Hitler himself was taking and was addicted to many drugs given to him, pervitin, cocaine, heroin, eukodal, by his personal physician Dr. Theo Morell.
Because of his self-deluded importance in thinking that his decisions were the only ones that mattered, Hitler demanded that he be kept ready, alert and awake. Because Hitler’s body was becoming more used to the dosage, Morell had to keep increasing the potency of the product.
By the end of the war in 1945, Hitler’s body had all but given up on him.
The drugs had taken their toll and Hitler’s subordinates were repulsed and pitiful of who they now saw in front of them.
In 1928, in Berlin alone, 73 kilos of morphine and heroin were sold and anyone who could afford it took cocaine and were all sold legally from any chemist shop.
In 1933 when the Nazi party took control, they made using drugs taboo.
From a man who hated drugs and would put nothing harmful into his body, being vegetarian, no alcohol, no coffee to what he became shows how insidious drug use is.
Something that is used for relief, very quickly turns into an addiction.
I read in the Metro newspaper this evening that there is a warning over the rise of the Spice drug that leaves users frozen in place, turning them into “The Walking Dead”. It is a new blend. ‘The psychoactive drug is said to be mixed with a fish tranquilliser given to koi carp to keep them calm during being transported’.
This drug is literally leaving users frozen in position, in a catatonic state.
The homeless are being targeted – Homeless charity Lifeshare estimates 95% of young homeless people are taking this drug”.
Here is an article from the mail online with video – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4284612/Homeless-people-look-like-walking-dead-Spice.html
I find this really shocking and deeply concerning.
Recent news reports have spoken of the imminent closure of a bank known for its ethical standards, which have its roots dating back to the late 1800’s.
The organisation came about when small retailers came together to increase their buying power. They formed a society with the intention that it would be for the members, run by the members and to be ethically minded in all businesses, especially where the banking is concerned.
In recent years a new big boss took over the reins as the new boss of the bank.
4 years later he gets kicked off the board following his conviction for possessing and using cocaine, crystal meth and ketamine.
It was while he was the boss of the bank that the bank lost a lot of money in the merger with another well-known building society and with an injection of £1 billion from private investors, the bank now only owns 30% of their own bank.
With an extra £500 million of bad loans, the bank has never recovered from this £1.5 billion deficit.
Was he a bad businessman or did the drugs have a huge effect on his decision-making?
If a company bases its approach on ethical considerations, shouldn’t it follow then, that the people running the company should be just as ethical in all areas of their life?
Whatever the reasons for anyone’s drug use, the consequences are huge, not only for the user’s themselves, but also for any family, friends or work colleagues.
So we are not born to take drugs and where do these drugs come from are my type of questions?
Who thinks about creating drugs and for what purpose?
I have worked inside jail and seen the raw real truth about what drugs do and the harm it causes, not just to the offender but so many others who they affect.
Amphetamines and all the other long list of names this drug has is way off the scale now in our world and we seem to keep coming up with more drugs to mix it with and these cocktails are lethal.
How damaging has our world become where we read news stories like a residential home explosion where they were using it to make amphetamine drugs? The whole town was affected and think of our community resources needed to deal with this.
Banning it and making it illegal has not stopped the production of Amphetamines. It has simple driven it underground. Our dark world continues to supply the demand we want, so the cycle continues.
What we need now is to ask WHY anyone would need to take such a highly toxic substance called Amphetamine and what on earth is going on in their life that they want to poison their mind and body?
If we don’t ask questions how are we ever going to get to the root of WHY this is happening in our modern 21st century world?
AND we call ourselves the most intelligent species on earth?
Hello – join the dots as something is seriously not right here.
In an article by The Economist – 17th – 23rd June, p.47 the writer states that the focus on the opioids epidemic in the USA is actually overshadowing the growing problem with methamphetamines (meth).
Brian Lockerby – Head of Montana’s Division of Criminal Investigation said that
He had never seen the state of Montana so awash with meth.
Infants are being born hooked on it.
Parents of nearly 33% of children in Montana’s foster care are meth users.
33% of American Law Enforcement agencies ranked meth as the biggest drug threat in their area.
(National Drug Threat Assessment, 2016).
Also in 2016, 43% of Law Enforcement agencies in South-East USA and 71% in South-West USA listed meth as the biggest drug threat locally.
In 2009 the figures were 23% in the South-East and 57% in the South-West.
Post the 2005 USA legislation restricting the use of certain ingredients being used in medicines (The Combat Methampetamine Epidemic Act 2005 –
mentioned in this blog on Amphetamines by Simple Living Global) meth did not disappear from the USA, but went to Mexico for production.
The Economist article goes further in exposing that most of the meth consumed in the USA today is smuggled in from Mexico – often liquified and disguised in gas tanks or resealed iced tea cans with chemists in Mexico produce masses of the drug in professional laboratories.
Purity in meth has increased from 40% in late 2007 to above 90% in early 2016.
The price has also decreased from $293 per pure gram to $66 in the same period.
Between 2010 – 2014, 85-90% of psychostimulant deaths mentioned methamphetamine on the death certificate.
Local studies in Oregon and Texas show deaths from meth increasingly sharply. This is due to its potency.
The article closes by saying that Meth kills by slowing or stopping breathing and overdosing on it is less likely than opioids.
A study in Sydney in 2010 suggested that meth users were almost twice as likely as heroin users to have committed violent acts in the previous year and that there is no medical treatment in existence for meth use like there is opiods.
This is serious and thank you to the Economist for reporting on this and opening our eyes to what is going on.
This is one drug and this synopsis tells us that we are in a very bad way. It’s easy to turn our heads and say it’s those drug users over there but more and more people from all walks of life are using methamphetamines and so the poignant question of ‘what is going on in life to enable the growth of this one drug?’ is to be asked.
Legislating against it has made no difference and has just allowed it to go even more underground where it is now being trafficked into the USA.
I can only express a heartfelt thank you to Simple Living Global for having this platform where very important topical issues can be discussed.
Whilst I can’t stop the methamphetamine epidemic or the rise of any drug, single handedly, what I can and am doing is making it my business to find out what is happening in the world and asking questions so that we no longer settle for life as it is, as we know that it can be very, very different and so the question to all of us is –
Why are we settling for less in our lives?
News story – 20 August 2017
Figures from law enforcement and addiction treatment specialists in North Dakota and Minnesota show that Meth remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region and the popularity of methamphetamine does not seem to be waning.
489% increase from 2009 to 2016 in Methamphetamine seizures.
70 – 80% pure is the user-quantity level.
Methamphetamine crosses all socioeconomic boundaries says Brian Marquart from Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“What we are seeing is alarming. Methamphetamine use is now second only to alcohol for treatment admissions in Minnesota” says Emily Piper, Department of Human Services Commissioner.
The question here is how are we going to stop this?
Are the treatments and all the rehabilitation keeping us one step ahead?
Do we need to look closely at the movements from the Mexican drug cartels?
Are we going to demand that our governments take real action?
Are we as individuals going to look at what our personal Responsibility is here?
Are we in a cycle of destruction that cannot see a way out?
Are we looking in the wrong direction and just coming up with better solutions?
Are we going to change our focus and put all our research into finding out WHY someone takes meth in the first place?
Are we as a community, a country, a world ready to do what it takes to nail this and all other drugs so that one day we can report statistics that confirm we are on top of this?
Are we going to wait for even more studies and research or are we going to wait for more news stories like this, to tell us that Methamphetamines are a dangerous substance and not for human consumption?
Drugs are in the news today – differently so from this blog but nonetheless – we are in danger in society today to be living life reliant on drugs to get us through:
“The use of potentially addictive painkillers across England has doubled in the last 15 years, according to a report by leading public health experts. Researchers found one in 20 people was being prescribed opioid painkillers, such as Codeine and Tramadol. They also found that drugs were being prescribed for longer periods of time. Experts say long-term use leads to a risk of addiction while the benefits become greatly reduced.”
“But out of a population who are taking these drugs, the majority are not benefiting and they should be supported to come off these medicines.”
Evening Standard – 3 April 2018
Thailand has seized £16 million worth of crystal methamphetamine – one of the largest hauls of its kind. The drug known as Ice were produced in the so called Golden Triangle region on the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos. It was destined for Malaysia.
It is clear that there is a huge demand so the suppliers are relentless in making sure they profit from a market that has no intention of stopping.
Would it be true to say that even with a large haul disrupted in the supply chain, it will have little affect to those who continue to demand and supply this drug of choice, which has now become a global epidemic?
Are we as a world anywhere near being on the front foot and are any of our solutions working?
Can we see now the size of this haul tells us things are serious and this problem is not going to go away?
Is the answer finding ways to stop suppliers or are we going to just drive them underground and let them operate under the black market?
Are we going to start asking questions and keep asking questions until we find out WHY people choose to take Ice, what is going on for them in life and are they well informed before they take the drug of what could happen?
This forensic blog will leave the reader in no doubt that we have a major crisis on our watch and this is just one drug. Our world is in great need of change and it is high time we stopped using methods that simply are not cutting it and get to the root cause of why we have such a global issue with Methamphetamine.
Perth Now News – 8 September 2018
6,600 people on methamphetamine ended up in emergency departments in one year.
The highest of any age range was 26 – 35
163 were children under the age of 17
Royal Perth Hospitals ED dealt with 5 people on ice everyday.
Saturday was the busiest day for meth-related attendances.
40% arrive by ambulance
19.4% arrive by police bringing them
3 most common symptoms were suicidal behaviour, drug use and inappropriate behaviour.
This research is the first of its kind to compile a profile of meth-related ED attendances and admissions.
WHY is meth use getting worse each year with its use across the whole community?
Are these UCC – urgent care clinics the answer and how do we get on the front foot?
Are there the resources to deal with the high volume of Ice users via the UCC knowing that it is on the increase with no signs of abating?
How do we get to the root cause of why we have kids turning to Ice?
Do we blame suppliers and punish them or can we consider that they only have a business while the demand is there?
Do we need to look deeper at the start of any one’s life where meth was first consumed and what on earth was going on for them?
Do we the whole community need to get talking, be involved and see what our part is and what we can do to support those who are addicted to Ice?
It is easy to leave it to the authorities as this is a serious matter but is there anything the rest of us can be doing to ensure things do not escalate on our watch?
Metro News – 1 October 2018
A delivery driver who caused the death of a pensioner has been jailed.
He had taken cocaine and amphetamine and fell asleep at the wheel.
What is worth noting is that this man had no rest on the actual day of the collision and his phone had been in ‘near constant use’ for four days.
Is this comment alone worth stopping and really pondering on?
How as a society have we got to this point?
How many more deaths are we waiting for?
Do we point fingers and just blame, or do we dig deeper with our questioning?
Can we start by saying in Truth there is no safe limit for drug driving?
Next – is there a clue that this man had his phone on almost constant use for 4 days?
Can we really negate and ignore this fact?
Could it be possible that the drugs were the reason why any human can stay awake, because naturally we are simply not designed to keep going without sleep?
What if we join the dots, get back to basics and get real when this type of stuff hits the news headlines and say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT?
Could this be the first three words that would lead us to more questioning and eventually get to the root cause of something as serious as this?
CNN World – 5th November 2018
Asia’s Meth Boom – How a War on Drugs Went Continent-Wide
From the jungles of Myanmar to the streets of Hong Kong, police throughout Asia are fighting a war against methamphetamine – By many indications, they are losing.
Demand for both crystal meth and yaba – tablets that typically contain a mixture of meth and caffeine – is skyrocketing. Production is increasing at an unprecedented rate and so is the body count. Leaders in places like Bangladesh and the Philippines are waging deadly drug wars that have cost thousands of lives.
According to the head of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Southeast Asia operations, meth no longer discriminates in Asia; it has become the dominant drug of choice across the region, irrespective of class, age or gender. In a career spanning 16 years, he said he’s never seen demand like this: “No situation is exactly comparable, but this is off the charts.”
The majority of meth production is happening deep inside the jungles of the Golden Triangle – a lawless area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Experts say it is easy to conceal drug production there and move it on short notice.
A large portion of meth seized throughout the Asia Pacific region has been traced to Myanmar’s northern Shan State, where militia’s and warlords reign supreme.
Drug runners, meanwhile are exploiting new roads and infrastructure being built as part of an ambitious, trillion-dollar Chinese initiative to connect markets across the globe, using the flow of people and illicit goods to mask the trafficking.
And the profits, likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars, are being laundered via intricate international schemes, often using front companies in countries where lax oversight makes it easy to hide money.
The former head of strategic intelligence at the Australian Federal Police who now works on border security issues at the Australia Strategic Policy Institute says: “It’s a perfect storm in terms of the production of methamphetamine. It’s pushing Southeast Asia into what could be in time a methamphetamine epidemic.”
Official numbers appeared to lend credence to the claim that heroin production has stopped. Authorities warn that’s likely because big players have ditched heroin in favour of a new, cheaper to produce alternative: methamphetamine.
Experts say the decision for these groups to get into the meth game, is partly a response to market forces, but it’s also motivated by profit and ease of production.
Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug. It’s made in the lab using chemicals and doesn’t require drug makers to cultivate organic crops, such as poppies, as is the case with heroin. These labs can be covered by a tarp or moved on short notice. You can’t do that with a poppy field.
And with China’s massive infrastructure initiative, an unintended side effect of these improvements is that they have made it easier for meth traffickers to transport product from deep inside Shan State to the rest of Southeast Asia.
Meth from northern Shan State in both crystal and pill form has been found as far away as Japan, New Zealand and Australia. A record 1.04 billion Australian dollars worth of meth, believed to have originated in Shan State, was found by police in Western Australia in December 2017.
This year, authorities have conducted dozens of meth seizures in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia.
According to the head of UNODC, shockingly, it took only five months for seizures in Malaysia and Myanmar to surpass the 2017 totals. While those drug busts could mean the law enforcement is winning its fight against traffickers, it also shows the sheer quantity of meth being moved.
With this amount of drug production, there comes the issue of the millions of dollars in revenue and how to present it as legitimate and law enforcement are saying that drug dealers are using intricate financial networks to hide their ill-gotten gains.
When CNN tried to talk to the so-called ‘reputable businesses’ involved, including government departments, naturally they didn’t get too far.
When we think about drug producing countries or areas, we usually think about places like Colombia or Mexico.
Should we be really surprised that Southeast Asia is becoming one of the biggest drug producing areas?
The drug world has always been about a select few preying on the weak and vulnerable to make as much money as possible.
Is it possible that the easiest way to get someone to buy your product is to force them to?
With these country’s track record of human rights violations and the oppression of people’s liberties, is it possible that the militia/warlords/drug gangs are forcing people to take drugs so as to get them hooked?
Is it possible that people, who are taking the drug voluntarily, do so because life in these countries is so oppressive that they see this as the only way out?
The drug producers have cottoned on to the fact that it is easier and cheaper to create synthetic drugs rather than cultivate them as in the case of heroin and poppy fields, but is it possible that these synthetic drugs are causing even more harm than heroin?
Methamphetamine develops into a vicious psychological addiction. The quick and intense euphoric feelings that are felt and the changes in the brain lead the abuser to have a mental dependency.
Another consequence of using methamphetamines is the onset of obsessive behaviours. People may begin to participate in repetitive activities and behaviours for prolonged periods of time as a result of methamphetamines destroying the brain’s inhibitory control.
Paranoia and aggression also often result from methamphetamine use, as does the onset of hallucinations and delusions, including feeling things such as having bugs crawling under their skin and hearing voices that are not really there.
Compared to the effects of heroin, it is very evident that methamphetamines have a much more disastrous effect on the human body.
Heroin has taken a backseat to methamphetamines.
With the amount of drugs coming from just this one region, do we need to start asking questions why so many more people are needing this much more harm-full addictive substance?
US News -14 February 2019
Meth Abuse Driving Big Spike in Syphillis Cases
A startling increase in syphillis cases among Americans may be linked to addiction to methamphetamine and other drugs, federal health officials say.
2013 – 2017 – the rate of syphilis infection among heterosexual men and women who use methamphetamine more than doubled according to a report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is the risky behaviour that tends to go along with drug use that makes one vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases said Dr. Sarah Kidd, medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.
The growing rise in the numbers of people being diagnosed with syphillis is being called an epidemic.
So as a drug user one already has the direct secondary ill effects of the drug itself that cause ill physical and mental health, but now due to the behaviours that go along with this, syphillis is now on the agenda.
Have we ever stopped to consider why any of us are drawn to use drugs when the ill effects are devastating to the human body and one’s relationships for example?
Is it possible that there are underlying issues that a person is carrying when we use illicit drugs and the substance is used to help us cope and numb out what has happened?
Have we weighed up the fact that if this is true, then we are spending a lot of time and effort to block something out that then causes many health problems? Our focus is then on the new health problems and we have totally lost connection with what the original issue was in the first place?
Is it possible that we are running a false economy if we take the above into account?
Would it make more sense as a society for us to focus on identifying what the root causes are and then putting services in place that allow us to truly address this?
Would that see a reduction in the number of drug users?
Would a focus in that direction see a huge reduction in the syphillis diagnoses rates?
The Telegraph – 20 October 2019
Burma is the world’s largest methamphetamine producer with a multi-billion dollar drug industry.
Burmese fishermen find $20 million of floating crystal meth and mistook it for a deodorant substance.
A total of 23 sacks were spotted and each one contained plastic-wrapped bags labelled as Chinese green tea – packaging commonly used by Southeast Asian crime gangs to smuggle crystal meth to destinations including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Crystal meth – better known as ice is smuggled out of the country to more lucrative markets using routes carved out by gangs through Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.
A study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC says that Southeast Asia’s crime groups are netting more than £60 billion a year.
In March, Burma authorities seized crystal meth worth $29 million which police say at the time was their biggest drug haul this year.
If we read this blog and all the comments posted, we are left in no doubt about the dangers of this toxic poison with many street names.
The question is HOW has an industry managed to be so lucrative under the radar, so to speak?
Multi billion dollars is no small fish, this is big stuff, so what is it really telling us?
We can ignore the facts, pretend it is not real, play dumb or act like its not that important OR we could wake up and smell that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
Methamphetamine is the strong stuff and it sounds like we are demanding more and here is a country doing jumbo business on the back of it.
We can blame the corruption and what is going on behind the scenes, the drug lords, all the killings and whatever else takes place BUT have we bothered to stop and consider where on earth is the demand coming from?
Those who profit would be out of business if we did not need our drugs, simply because the suppliers would have nothing to give us as we say “No”, but the truth is we want the drugs and we are willing to have whoever is involved risk their lives, as long as we get what we want.
We have an Ice epidemic and it seems to be low key, but the figures here tell us that it is far from that – a multi billion dollar industry in just one country.
We think our government security, border controls and all the high tech stuff is dealing with the dodgy drugs, but how disillusioned are we if we are unable to see it for what is really is?
The fact that crystal meth is being packaged as green tea speaks volumes.
Who are we actually fooling and are they getting away with it?
We have corruption everywhere in society and to think we don’t in our corner of the world would mean we are not willing to see the rot, as it may mean taking responsibility by doing something or seeing what our part is.
Most of us want the easy comfortable life and hope this ugly stuff never hits the news and if it does, we would like it to go away fast. But the reality is things are getting worse.
Not saying anything confirms there will be no change but talking about this kind of news and having conversations and raising questions gets things out in the open.
Before we blame all those who are part of the supply and demand chain, it would be a wise move to consider where in our lives we are comfortable ignoring and accepting all that goes on in our world that we most certainly know and can feel is not right.
Our world is in serious trouble and each of us has a duty and a responsibility to do what it takes to express what is not truth, not because we read about it but because our body tells us so – we can feel it – in other words.
Mail Online – 10 March 2020
Adelaide has been named the meth capital of Australia. Tests show residents are getting through almost a tonne of the drug every year.
Methamphetamine is known as ice and this city has the worst ice problem.
Shocking figures from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program revealed residents in Adelaide consume 943kg of methamphetamine a year.
Australia methamphetamine users consume 11,156kg a year in total. Meth was also found to be the most widely used illicit drug in the country.
From August 2018 to August 2019, $11.3 billion was spent on methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and heroin. Of this, £8.63 billion was spent on methylamphetamine.
Whilst some figures are showing a drop in overall consumption of certain drugs, it needs to be noted that other drugs have seen an increase.
Could this tell us that drug users have switched to more potent or more accessible drugs – is that possible or do we dismiss this question?
Have we considered that a wastewater drug monitoring program with all the advancements to detect what drugs are being used may not give us the real and precise truth about how much drugs are being used? Possible?
This forensic article by Simple Living Global presents the stats and the facts about meth and the variations on offer of the drug known as amphetamine. The reader can be left in no doubt once they read at the beginning the quote from an Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs – “‘People cannot use drugs without a risk of being harmed”.
Are we aware these are synthetic drugs and that means man made?
There is no such thing as a drug without side effects.
What if we start from day dot and educate our children on the real truth about drugs and then take it right the way through the school agenda until they go to college or further education?
What if we bring awareness and real education like what this article offers to all adults across the world as a part of public health education?
What would happen if more and more of us actually got to understand what goes on in the human psyche and what harm drugs like meth are doing to us?
WHY have we now got a world so divided when it comes to drugs?
In other words, why are politicians and policy makers across the globe not uniting when it comes to drug laws and who is behind drugs when we all know the harm caused to individuals, those close to them and their communities and beyond?
If drugs were super helpful and good medicine, we would all unite and say let’s legalise everything, but we all know that is totally not the truth. Hence why we today have countries that endorse and foster drugs and others that are on the fence thinking about it and then others that say no it is a crime to do so.
Back to the news story – what would happen if we got Independent researches on the streets of Adelaide to find out how on earth people are living and what is actually going on?
What lifestyle choices are being made and what resources are available to support these people?
It is very easy to finger point and expose a city as the capital of meth but what lies behind the scenes is super important, if we are to ever know how to do a U turn and get out of this downward spiral of drug taking.
We seem to be laid back in waiting for more research studies to tell us what we already know instead of speaking out, not by campaigning or ra ra attacking those who endorse this stuff but having conversations, doing our bit (so to speak). Just having dinner table conversations and talking about news stories of this kind can and will bring change. Saying nothing, doing nothing and accepting things whatever it is, guarantees no change.
We do not have to have any skills or be anyone special – we just need to talk and get others to the awareness we now have. As we all know once we read something, we cannot un-read it and once we see something we cannot un-see it.
Simple Living Global are not on a mission, but they are on track with presenting and delivering the truth on all topics relating to health and wellbeing and that includes drugs.
We never set out to be the world number one in google rankings but today we hold that spot for THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT AMPHETAMINES.
This confirms that just writing and sharing news stories by way of comments from around the world about this drug can raise awareness via the Internet and as a bonus you get the number one spot with mr google, without clever marketing or paying a dime to get to the top – a position many organisations would like to be in.
CTV News – 1 July 2020
Police are claiming the World’s largest drug bust.
US $1.12 Billion of Amphetamines seized – 84 million pills.
The drugs were found inside paper cylinders for industrial use and investigators said this is the largest drug haul in the world in terms of both value and quantity.
The drugs were well hidden and scanners at the port did not detect them. However, the head of the financial police for the city of Naples said that they knew they were arriving, because of their ongoing investigations.
The pills carried a logo which distinguished Syria as the country which produced the synthetic drug. Syria is becoming the leading world producer of amphetamines in recent years.
Evidence of the nexus between terror financing and organised crime interests was behind this haul.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), militants in Syria on both sides of the fighting, reportedly take the drugs themselves and may also be profiting from the production and trafficking of the pills.
The news story link has a short video so that the reader can observe the vast quantities of this seizure.
Where is this heading and where will it end up?
How many of us are not aware of what happens when we send men to war and how damaging it becomes for their minds and bodies?
Have we ever picked up the history books which tell us amphetamines have been taken by troops in combat for a very long time and so we should not be surprised it is going on, albeit at a gigantic scale now?
Do our true story war films depict the horrors and atrocities of fighting other humans – those of our kind – with the aim and intent to kill and destroy OR are we numb to this fact?
Have we considered how on earth does anyone partake, let alone hold ammunition to kill another from dawn until dusk operating in “fight or flight” mode where the body is constantly pumping out adrenaline with no real time off or rest?
Next – the fact that there are mass amounts of amphetamines in production tells us there is a market out there and that means we have a strong demand for what this drug gives us.
If we read this forensic blog presenting the facts, we are left in no doubt that an altered state of being is needed and that is why we turn to this drug.
Do we honestly think this production will not continue just because a big drug haul has stopped a large supply reaching its destinations?
Whilst there is a demand, there will always be the suppliers and even if there is a global lockdown taking place, they will find a way.
What will it take for us Dear World to wake up and take note that our war on drugs has failed us and we are nowhere near on the front foot of nailing and knocking out this substance that is destroying lives as a result.
The Guardian – 16 March 2021
Note – * Names have been changed.
Title: We Forgot our Troubles: Crystal Meth Use Rises During Lockdown in Zimbabwe
Crystal Meth is known as mutoriro in Zimbabwe.
Many youths have ventured into illicit and dangerous drugs such as mutoriro, with numbers rising as lockdown has cut them off from jobs and their usual social lives.
Known scientifically as methamphetamine and as this article presents – crystal meth is a highly addictive stimulant and is being used for its powerful euphoric effects.
Solomon* demonstrates the process of de-crystallising the white chemical into a brown smoking smear. The curved pipe is made from flourescent tubes from disused energy-saver lightbulbs that are cleaned and sold to drug users for $1.
“You should be careful not to ingest the smoke because it causes stomach ache,” Solomon explains.
Although the drug has been used in Zimbabwe for some years, its use has grown in the townships as the economic crisis grips the country, leaving few job prospects for young people.
Zimbabwe has nearly 90% unemployed, with young people worst affected.
“This drug will just make you get into another zone altogether. We can spend the whole night talking and enjoying ourselves. We live in a world of our own and can even forget about our daily troubles.
These days you find little girls taking the substance. Most of them are coming here to smoke this thing. At 1am, you will find most kids flooding the streets smoking meth – it is like you are watching a movie. These children have become wild.” Solomon says.
He adds that as schools have closed because of the pandemic, teenagers are now joining their ranks.
A gram of crystal meth costs $12 – a steep cost for most users in the townships and equivalent to a week’s rent on a room.
The drug pushers have taken advantage of the use of foreign currency as legal tender in the country. One supplier explains that crystal meth is smuggled into the country through Zimbabwe’s porous borders with South Africa.
“If I had money, I would buy it every day.” says Solomon
Mbare, the oldest suburb in Harare, is notorious for drug abuse. BB* sells crystal meth there. He says the market is growing fast, explaining that before it had only been youths in the affluent suburbs who could afford it, but now young people are turning to the drug in townships, where there is little else on offer.
BB makes $200 a day from his sales, which have grown since March 2020 – the start of the lockdown in Zimbabwe and has a network of drug spots around the city where he also sells other drugs such as cannabis and prescription drugs that are commonly misused such as codeine, and a cough syrup, which contains codeine plus pills that are usually prescribed to combat mental illness.
Despite the prohibitive costs, many addicts find a way to fund their insatiable appetite by selling their possessions, while others are driven to steal.
Solomon was thrown out of his parents’ home last year after stealing their electrical appliances. His addiction has led his father to almost report him to the police and his father does not want to see him according to Muchaka* a friend of Solomon.
“There are people who say this drug is dangerous, but people continue to use it because it is not that deadly. I left other drugs because they do not give me the satisfaction I need. Sometimes I find myself getting agitated and angry – I do not like the way I feel but it is the drug. I find myself saying things I regret. I am just a free-spirited person when I am intoxicated.
My sleeping patterns have been disturbed by this drug. Last year, due to excessive use, I failed to sleep for a week and by the time I finally slept, it took me two days to wake up. My landlord thought I had died inside my room. That is when I was advised to take it slow”. says Solomon
Donald* age 29 is a security guard. He says the drug helps him stay awake during his night shifts.
“I like this stuff, it just does it for me. I can do my work all night without even dozing. It is good if you want to do something productive with your time. But I do not advise young ones to get this drug,” he says.
An emaciated Mabhuku* has experienced extreme weight loss since he started using the drug two years ago. “I lost a lot of weight due to excessive use of meth. Eating is still a problem. Most people lose weight because of lack of sleep.” he says.
Smoking crystal meth comes with its own culture and has its own slang and is often associated with a certain music known in Zimbabwe.
“We have our own language here. Our language is like reverse words, so that no one else understands what we are talking about,” Mabhuku says.
Natasha* age 22 is also addicted to crystal meth and has ran away from home. Her attempts to quit have not worked and she finds herself going back to the drug.
With many young people battling drug addiction, the health system has been found wanting. Zimbabwe’s hospitals cannot treat addicts and the few rehabilitation centres are expensive.
Maramba, a mental health expert says the lack of public rehabilitation centres has worsened drug-induced mental health issues in the country.
In Zimbabwe they do not have rehabilitation centres in government institutions.
While rehabilitation is achievable for drug addicts, Maramba says most drug users often relapse when they have nowhere to go, but back to the shanty towns where the peer pressure they faced before remains along with the same daily problems.
How many of us are actually aware of how far reaching the crystal meth crisis is currently at?
Did we know countries like Zimbabwe have this going on and so many children are taking it?
How do we bring attention to this type of global news if we would rather not know or read it and then dismiss it, as it’s not in our country or just continue doing what we do, which is making sure we have a great life, thank you very much?
Has anyone considered this question –
What would happen if we ALL stopped the demand – the request for any illicit drug?
This multi-billion dollar drug industry is growing fast and continues to do so because we, yes we the consumers place the demand. There would be no drugs business if we stopped seeking it, as the suppliers would not be there. They would all have to go back to finding another way to make profit.
We are quick to blame and point the fingers at the drug cartels and all those involved in the manufacture, supply and dealing of drugs but let us once again be reminded, who put them there in the first place?
Yes we gave them their jobs – Yes, all of us that take illicit drugs for whatever reason.
April 2021 – Saudi Arabia seized 5.3 million Captagon pills found in pomegranate crates.
This led to a ban of all Lebanese produce.
This news story tells us that the amphetamine Captagon is mainly made for Saudi Arabian consumption. The export of Lebanese fruits and vegetables to the Gulf countries was one of the few doors that were still open to bring money into the country.
The local currency has dived more than 85% on the black market, inflation is rampant, and more than half the country now live in poverty.
Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
The Guardian – 7 May 2021
SYRIA – manufacture of Captagon is a growth industry so big it is starting to rival the GDP of flatlining economy.
Police and intelligence officials in the Middle East and Europe tell us there is a “network of untouchables – crime families, militia leaders and political figures that have formed cross-border cartels that make and distribute industrial scale quantities of drugs.
“They are very dangerous people, they are scared of no one and they hide in plain sight.”
Senior Official in Beirut.
Captagon is one of several brand names for the drug compound fenethylline hydrochloride. It is an amphetamine and used recreationally across the middle east and sometimes called a “poor man’s cocaine”.
It is used by armed forces and regular forces in battle situations, where it is seen as having properties that boost courage and numb fears.
The border between Syria and Lebanon is redundant, a lawless zone where smugglers operate with the complicity of officials on both sides. The smugglers move precursors and finished products of both hashish (cannabis) and Captagon.
For scale and efficiency this has rivalled the famous Mexico cartel.
On that note – 5 tonnes of Captagon tablets found in Greece in July 2019, then 2 similar hauls in Dubai in subsequent months. 4 tonnes of hashish, let’s call it cannabis in Egypt in April 2020. There was a Captagon shipment to Saudi Arabia hidden in tea leaves plus seizures in Jordan, Bahrain, Turkey and Romania.
July 2020 (note we have a world pandemic with lockdown restrictions)
$1 BILLION – Biggest ever haul of the drug on its way to Dubai hidden in paper rolls and machinery.
“Syria is a narco-state with 2 primary drugs of concern: Hashish and the amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon. Syria is the global epicentre of Captagon production, which is now more industrialised, adaptive and technically sophisticated than ever.
2020 – Captagon exports from Syria reached a market value of $3.46 BILLION”
The above is from the research organisation – The Centre for Operational Analysis and Research which focuses on Syria, which released a report recently highlighting the role of Captagon and hashish in the country.
Enough said for the purposes of this article on amphetamines. There is more to read from the news story link for any reader that requires more insight into the details of what else is going on in Syria and how this drug has turned this country officially into a narcotic state.
A brief about the drug Captagon – see link
We could dismiss this as the date tells us this is old news from November 2015.
However, it is relevant today and related to this comment about Captagon because it continues to fuel the war in Syria and what has been reported thus far on this comment confirms this drug is still in use and growing fast.
Back in the 1060s, Captagon was prescribed to treat narcolepsy and depression.
1980s the medical community determined that Captagon’s addictive properties outweighed clinical benefits and so it was banned at that point in most countries.
Captagon in the Middle East has enough brand recognition that counterfeit pills are commonly found in drug seizures by authorities. One analysis, the investigators found no fenethylline – the active ingredient, but found amphetamine and caffeine as main ingredients.
In a BBC Arabic documentary called “The Drug Fueling Conflict in Syria”, users described the intensity of a Captagon high:
“I felt like I own the world, high”
“Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling.”
“There was no more fear anymore after I took Captagon”
Militants in Syria are said to use Captagon to endure in battle. But it is also popular with wealthy young people in the Middle East who use it to stay awake for studying and women use it to lose weight.
How many of us are aware of what is going on in the drug world?
How many of us have no idea what goes on in countries like Syria?
Can we keep up with it and do we understand WHY so many are reliant on these illicit substances that not only alter our natural state but have long lasting side effects that harm the human frame beyond anything we may have even considered?
Do we need to wait for more research or read up the molecular structure of Captagon and other stuff we cannot understand or do we take note of what a documentary is saying with real life examples – they call that anecdotal evidence in the world of science?
Read again what these guys are saying.
We could laugh it off or take note that they are clearly deluded because of ingesting a substance that alters their internal chemistry. They feel like they own the world and have super powers like no other and are fearless. How many of us would love to have that state of mind and being, if we were honest, even though we innately know it is not real at all?
At what cost and what happens next?
War does something to humans because it is not natural – we all know that.
Drugs are used and have been used for a very long time by those who go to war.
Is it because combat is not natural and the intent to kill another or maim them, is simply not part of our nature?
To carry out such an act of sense-less violence towards another fellow human being does require us to be in an altered state of mind and this is why drugs are used to fuel these atrocities that really are going on in our world and not just in the movies.
Some may not agree with the above but common sense would say – bang on as it makes sense.
Our ignorance and lack of expressing when it comes to talking about this kind of topic and news story ensures the masses will never get to hear about it. We each have a responsibility once we know what is going on to share and have open discussions.
How else will the world find out when not everyone is looking for such news stories?
Science Daily – 14 July 2021
Heart failure hospitalisations and costs related to methamphetamine use has had a sharp rise over a decade in California, according to new research published this week in an American Heart Association journal.
585% rise between 2008 and 2018.
840% rise in costs associated with meth-related hospitalisations.
“Our study results should bring urgent attention to this insidious yet rapidly growing form of severe heart failure – methamphetamine related heart failure, which is taking the lives of young people, straining health care resources and threatening to spread like wildfire in California, the West and to the rest of the nation. California is seeing a resurgence of methamphetamine use, and the problem has been made drastically worse in recent years by the increase in purer and more potent methamphetamine throughout our communities.
Treating patients with methamphetamine-related heart failure is consuming resources and burdening the health care system. Many patients present late in the course of illness with limited options available to them.
While methamphetamine-related heart failure may be seen as a ‘working class white men’s disease’ demographics are shifting and diversifying, among young people from different racial and ethnic groups and women too. It is also spreading from urban areas to rural communities.
The methamphetamine epidemic is often overshadowed by the surge in opioid related death and illnesses. The long term health consequences associated with methamphetamine use require recognition from the public as well as the clinical communities. This study was intended more as a public health alarm: the urgency of methamphetamine use disorder cannot be overstated.” Said lead author Susan Zhao – cardiologist at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California.
1.6 million people reported using methamphetamines and the average age of new meth users was 23, according to the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2017.
The study also informs us that methamphetamine related heart failure patients were also more likely to consume alcohol and use tobacco and other illicit drugs.
The researchers plan to work with public health agencies to develop a statewide awareness campaign in California.
On that note, this article is on the front foot when it comes to presenting the facts, delivering what we ALL need to know about this illicit drug and asking important questions for the reader to consider.
Methampthamine is not going away over night and we each have a responsibility to start talking about what is going on in our world. Awareness is needed as this author is expressing to us and we then need to go back and find a way how we are going to deal with this. Solutions are not working, throwing money at rehab and other treatments with no consistent results is telling us something. Our way of operating in daily life is no longer working. We need to get real and start with a serious question – what is the root and underlying cause of someone taking methamphetamine?
Unless we get to the root, we are going around and around and history has shown us this. We do not evolve, move on or move forward and we come to realise, we have not really changed the behaviour.
Real change is needed and it is time to be open to another way as things are getting worse and we are not seeking the true answers needed to turn the tides, so to speak.
We can no longer afford to sit back and let the researchers come up with more studies. While we wait, we can be assured those staggering statistics mentioned at the beginning of this comment will rise even more.
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) – 15 August 2022
Methamphetamine use is driving the overdose epidemic in rural U.S. communities, according to a new study.
Methamphetamine remains a prevalent illicit substance in large swaths of rural America.
80% of those who use drugs in rural areas across 10 states reported using methamphetamines in the past 30 days, according to researchers.
“This has been a West Coast problem for a long time, but now we see methamphetamine use in rural communities across the United States.” said Todd Korthuis, M.D., – Professor of Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and Head of Addiction Medicine at OHSU.
Largely due to Fentanyl, the national opioid epidemic continues to dominate headlines and accounts for the majority of the more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths recorded in the United States last year – 2021.
“Fentanyl now frequently contaminates methamphetamine. People think they are only using methamphetamine, when in reality they are unknowingly taking Fentanyl – which is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.
Co-use of methamphetamine and opioids is associated with a big increased risk of overdose in rural communities. Some view rural areas as immune to problems like drug use but they are not.” said Korthuis.
The study found a consistent presence of economic distress, including the fact that 53% of the respondents reported being homeless in the previous 6 months.
The situation heightens the risk of so-called “deaths of despair” – drug overdose deaths, suicide and disease linked to drug and alcohol use.
SKY News – 26 August 2022
Drugs worth $1.6 BILLION found hidden in marble tiles in Australia’s biggest ever Methamphetamine bust.
1.8 tonnes of meth was shipped from the Middle East to Sydney.
In the previous week, 1.060 kg of the drug was found in 19 containers at the same port, hidden in the same way and shipped from the United Arab Emirates.
This seizure was the biggest in Australia’s history and many high mid and lower level suppliers will feel this loss in weeks to come, according to Police Detective Chief Supt John Watson.
April 2019 – Australia’s previous record meth haul was 1.6 tonnes. Hidden in speakers shipped to Melbourne from Bangkok.
The question we ought to all be asking is if we have such a large amount being seized, then this tells us demand is high – so where is the demand coming from?
Let us not go around blindly saying it’s the druggies on the streets.
Meth is being used by many in the general population and those we suspect the least.
Time to wake up that those making the demand are the ones we need to hold accountable. They demand and then the suppliers supply.
Stop the demand and we would soon put the suppliers out of business.
UPI Health News – 1 December 2022
Heart failure linked to illicit use of methamphetamine is on the rise worldwide across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines and the disease is more severe in meth users than non-users, according to a new study published in Heart, an International Journal from the British Medical journal and British Cardiovascular Society.
6.2 million adults in the United States are affected by the disease and men more than women. The new research highlighted the expense involved in meth heart failure treatment.
The research underscores that meth-induced heart failure “is not straightforward to study or treat. For example, a patient with a single positive urinary drug screening will be at a different phase in the disease course than a patient who has used methamphetamine daily for years” said Dr. Jonathan D. Davis – Director of the Heart Failure Program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine.
“Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant, causes the heart muscle to work much harder than it ordinarily would. It causes blood vessels to tighten, increasing blood pressure: something that can lead to heart failure and stroke. When meth is injected, outside bacteria can infect the heart.”
Dr. O. Trent Hall – Addiction Medicine Specialist | Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine.
Dr. Hall was not involved in the study.
According to the study, in some cases, heart failure was diagnosed after a single use.
The researchers added that in California the annual hospital charges for meth heart failure increased by 840% from 2008 to 2018, according to state wide data.
Over the same decade, in comparison the rise was 82% for all heart failure hospitalizations.
“Certainly we are willing to educate about the risk as another reason to avoid the use of illicit methamphetamine.”
Dr. Michael Kilkenny – top Public Health Official in Cabell County W.Va., which is an area hard hit by prescription opioid street drug overdoses who said public health officials are not measuring the clinical impact of illegal meth and heart failure.
Currently there is no FDA approved medication for methamphetamine use disorder and the most effective behavioral treatment is often difficult for patients and families to access, said Hall the Ohio Physician.
Dr Hall often cares for patients with meth use disorder in the hospital in his role as an addiction medicine consult physician.
“Many of these patients have severe medical problems related to methamphetamine use, including heart failure,” he said.
Simple Living Global posted this article in August 2016 to bring awareness about this illicit drug in its many forms and different names.
In addition, comments are posted to add to the article where relevant research studies or news is available and as such the following is another comment to enrich the subject.
Meth is now widespread globally as this news story confirms.
Our physicians do not have the resources needed to turn this around and they are making the call by informing us ALL that we have a serious 911.
It is time that organisations like Simple Living Global educate and bring understanding by way of presentation to those that are open to another way. We no longer have the luxury of so-called time to wait for more evidence based studies when we have the reality in our face, literally.
Simple Living Global are dedicated to humanity to bring awareness and this website is the evidence of that deep commitment since the start. Year 7 and there is no change in our delivery when it comes to topics on Health and Wellness, presented in a way that is super simple language – so we all get it as our work is for everyone – ALL of humanity.