All drugs, especially illegal and drugs used without a prescription, can be dangerous, but some are more dangerous than others. Drug-related deaths are on the rise worldwide, with thousands of people dying each year from drug-related causes. Some drugs can be deadly in a single dose, while others can only be fatal after long-term use.
Global Drug Survey (GDS)
As the world’s largest drug-related research, the GDS reveals important data on the excellence and outcome of legal and illegal drugs worldwide. Since 2011, more than 750,000 people have participated in the survey, reflecting different perspectives through partnerships involving more than 30 countries. The maximum number of participants comes from Germany, Denmark, and the United States. However, people from Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and other countries also participated in the 2017 survey.
The 2017 Global Drug Survey reveals that Methamphetamine is the most dangerous drug worldwide, with over 93% pure, cheap, and lasts 24 hours.
This survey elicits responses from young drug users and includes data on users’ gender, health status, education level, and leisure activities.
2017 survey about Methamphetamine
The most alarming and dangerous takeaway from the 2017 Global Drug Survey comes from its data on methamphetamine usage.
Methamphetamine is more dangerous than any other drug in the study; now covered with fentanyl, it causes super Methamphetamine, a toxic mixture of death and poisoning, and reveals why many call super Methamphetamine the most dangerous drug in the world. An average of 4.8% of users needs urgent medical assistance after use.
Comparing data from the World Methamphetamine Drug Survey with data from other common drugs further clarifies the dangers of Methamphetamine. The percentage of users seeking treatment after using Methamphetamine is higher than the sum of all users who used synthetic cannabinoids and alcohol, combining the second and third most dangerous drugs.
In addition, Methamphetamine appears to be far more harmful to women than men for unknown reasons. After using Methamphetamine, over 8% of users need medical assistance. In contrast, 3.7% of male users require urgent treatment after using Methamphetamine.
According to The New York Times, methamphetamine use has shown a tremendous increase, with Methamphetamine and other drugs of its kind already killing 13,000 between May 2018 and May 2019. It increased by nearly 25% compared to the previous year’s record. Most striking is the increasing number of people looking at drugs and alcohol to escape the pressures and stresses of their lives.
Misuse of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine comes in many forms and can be smoked, snuffed, injected, or taken by mouth. The use of the drug varies from region to region and changes over time. Smoking or injecting is the most common way to take it, as it is one of the fastest and most intense ways users can feel the effects of the drug. It causes the drug to enter the bloodstream and brain very quickly, causing an immediate and intense fever, drug addiction, and adverse health effects. Inhalation or ingestion causes euphoria. Inhalation is effective within 3-5 minutes; oral ingestion is effective within 15-20 minutes.
Users try to maintain their euphoria by taking more drugs, as the pleasing effects of Methamphetamine disappear even before the drug levels in the blood drop significantly.
Some people get Methamphetamine because the very pleasant sensations that Methamphetamine produces can fade before the user’s blood levels drop. The duration and severity vary from user to user, but some people quit sleeping or eating for several days. After that, treatment may be needed.
Short-term effects of methamphetamine misuse
NIDA reports the adverse effects of Methamphetamine. In the short term, users may experience rapid or irregular heartbeats, hyperthermia, and loss of appetite. Even small amounts of Methamphetamine can increase arousal and cause a variety of cardiovascular problems. Other Short-term effects include:
- Rapid and irregular heartbeats
- Increased attention and decreased fatigue
- Increased activity and wakefulness
- Euphoria and rush
- Increased respiration
- High blood pressure
These short-term effects can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse
Long-term use can lead to addiction and may require users to take large doses to experience the desired effect. Prolonged abuse of Methamphetamine has many adverse effects, including addiction. Addiction is a chronic recurrent disorder characterized by obsessive-compulsive search and use of drugs, with functional and molecular changes in the brain. Other symptoms include:
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Repetitive motor activity
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Deficits in thinking and motor skills
- Increased distractibility
- Memory loss
- Aggressive or violent behaviour
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental problems
- Weight loss
Effective treatments to help methamphetamine addicts
Practicing nurses play an important role in the treatment of meth and addiction. Nurses can monitor behavioral therapies in many areas, proving that it is most effective for methamphetamine users. According to NIDA, the most common treatments include Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery (MIEDAR), which encourages recovery and methamphetamine abstinence. It is a 16-week program that includes support, advice, and behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency plans are effective treatments for addiction to Methamphetamine.