Methamphetamine, otherwise known as Meth, started out as the poor man’s Cocaine. It’s inexpensive and relatively simple to make and sell. It has its own market of buyers and sellers. Profits from Meth can be exponentially large.
Although Meth use started out with lower class whites, it has proliferated through every socioeconomic strata of the United States. The common threads running through society and Meth are the initial euphoria it gives and the devastation it unleashes on addicts and their families. Addicts of all socioeconomic classes also share certain characteristics, because in some ways our bodies and minds are the same. Meth’s price and availability for the working class and poor can make it particularly attractive though.
We all have dopamine
When we’re experiencing pleasure, our brains produce a hormone called dopamine. It makes us feel happy, motivated and active. When a person ingests meth, the brain produces more dopamine. The more meth that they ingest, the more dopamine the body produces. It keeps putting out dopamine until it runs out of gas. Then there’s no dopamine and the body starts processing the meth out. This is when the crash occurs. The user becomes depressed, lethargic and mentally unstable until such time as the brain has produced more dopamine. Meth addiction may end up being a cycle that doesn’t end until it kills the addict.
Common personality traits between the poor and working class also contribute to Meth addiction, particularly when there’s a feeling of hopelessness. Being powerless can breed anxiety and a desire to be in control, along with a much higher chance of addiction. If the addict isn’t in control, they feel powerless. It’s all or nothing behavior. They see the world in black and white with no in between. Actual emotions are subdued, and underlying problems are easily ignored, when on a meth binge. The addict is in control of anxiety and emotions.
Meth has also taken its toll on those who often view it not as a drug, but as an opportunity for income. Many have lost their jobs, their homes, and the only security they had. Their logic of opportunity is very simple. The more difficult it is for people to make an honest living, the more attractive it will be for people to make a living dishonestly. As the economy continues to stagnate or decline, the number of people making a dishonest living just to pay their bills is increasing. For those that choose to do so, meth is cheap and easy to make and very profitable to sell. Recipes are even available online. As they continue to grow and live outside of the box, Meth addiction and production continue to proliferate.
Most of us haven’t required a mixture of cold medicine, anti-freeze, drain cleaner and lantern fuel to find happiness. Many people have lived the life of devastation from meth on a daily basis either as addicts or their family members. There’s a helpline available at 800-447-9081. A call to our hotline can point you or a family member in the right direction. Happiness, optimism and control are out there. People just need to know where to find them.