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Injecting Meth

Methamphetamine is a powerful drug of abuse which acts primarily as a central nervous system stimulant. When someone uses meth, this produces large quantities of chemical releases in the brain which causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria, alertness and a surge of energy. Meth users develop tolerance and dependence to the drug very quickly, and therefore addiction to the drug is extremely common which leads to many undesirable effects, side effects and consequences.

Individuals who use meth will typically start off by taking it orally, then graduate to snorting it, then smoking it and then ultimately to injection. The oral method of administration doesn't give its user the immediate "rush" or high that is experienced when one administers the drug using one of the other three methods. However, the high that is experienced when an user takes the drug orally typically lasts much longer. The reason injecting meth is such a common method of administration is because of due to the almost immediate and intense high that is experienced by the user. Injecting meth causes a much more pronounced euphoric feeling accompanied by alertness and seemingly limitless supplies of energy. Studies have shown that drugs which produce the most immediate pleasure are the drugs which are the most commonly abused. This is why meth is so abused and individuals can become addicted to it quickly, especially when injecting meth.

Unfortunately, injecting meth comes with a myriad of risks and consequences that someone who is high on meth or trying to get high on meth isn't exactly stopping to think about. Taking meth by any method of administration carries risks, but injecting meth in particular carries greater risks than any other method. Individuals who inject meth are at risk of infections at the injection sight, skin rashes known as "speed bumps", scarring known as "track marks", and even pulmonary embolism which is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches.

Individual who are injecting meth are putting themselves at risk constantly due to potential vein damage. Meth use causes veins to tighten and shrink which causes the heart to work harder. Because the veins shrink, an individual can find it hard to find a vein to inject into which can leaded to misses and vein damage. If an injection meth user injects frequently enough into the same veins, these veins can become inflamed and begin to decay which can lead to collapses veins and abscesses. Abscesses can become even worse due to the toxic chemicals that meth is made of.

Because individuals who are injecting meth commonly share needles that have not been sterilized, meth users are constantly putting themselves at risk of several blood borne diseases which can cause long-term health consequences and can even be life threatening. Hepatitis is one of the diseases that can be transmitted amongst intravenous drug users. There are different types of Hepatitis, which mainly affect the liver and result in jaundice and liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis B is one of the most common forms of the virus, and is 100 times more infectious that HIV/AIDS. Hepatitis C is also a very serious form of the virus which may be spread by injection drug users, and there are two types. One is acute which causes mild jaundice and a general malaise, while the other is chronic and can go undetected for years resulting in slow and permanent damage to the liver. Hepatitis C is the most serious type of hepatitis. The Hepatitis C Virus is currently the leading cause of individuals in need of liver transplants, and thousands of individuals die from this disease each year for which there is no cure. Unfortunately, an estimated 4.1 million individuals in the U.S. are currently infected with HCV.

HIV/AIDS is another very real and serious consequence of injecting meth or any other drug for that matter. It is not estimated that, depending on where you are in the world, one in five individuals who are injection drug users are infected with HIV or AIDS. An estimated one in ten new infections is as a result of needle sharing. Aside from injection drug use being the culprit, individuals who have sex with people who are injecting meth or other drugs may also contract this disease, making it a worldwide epidemic. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, injection drug use has either directly or indirectly been the cause of over 36% of AIDS cases nationally, most commonly impacting racial and ethnic minorities.

Because of the unknown purity level and concentration of any given batch of meth, individuals who are injecting meth never know what they are really putting into their bodies. Methamphetamine is produced in clandestine laboratories and is made of things a normal person would never even consider ingesting, let alone mainlining into a vein. So there are so many dangers and risks involved when a meth user is injecting meth which can ultimately affect their health and wellbeing for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of the power the drug has over an addicted individual, getting high trumps any dangers involved and many meth users are willing to take the risk and inject meth of unknown purity or dosage.

Because individuals who are injecting meth can become dependent and addicted to the drug so quickly, the above health consequences mean very little to them. A chronic meth user will go on drug binges lasting anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, doing very little except injecting meth repeatedly. During this time, they will typically forego sleeping and eating and will continuously binge on meth until their bodies simply shut down, at which point they sleep for a few days, just to awake in withdrawal and do it all over again. This type of drug use can cause severe and irreparable damage physically and psychologically, and many meth users are commonly found to be in extremely poor health, physically violent and even suicidal.

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