Many of the drugs that are used for recreational purposes today had a different purpose for its initial creation. Opioids, for example, were developed to help people experience relief in pain. Another commonly misused drug is known as Methamphetamine. This drug, however, was not made for the purposes it is used for today.
In fact, when Methamphetamine was first created, the chemist created a medical drug. Over the years, it has become more widely used – and today, Methamphetamine is rated as a serious issue when looking at substance use disorders (SUDs).
In this post, we look at when was meth invented and provide an overview of its history.
When Was Methamphetamine First Synthesized?
Unlike some illicit drugs on the market, Methamphetamine is a chemical that holds no natural origins. The drug is entirely synthetic, which means it is a man-made substance. The manufacturing of Methamphetamine is often associated with illegal laboratories that are hidden in basements and back alleys today.
When Methamphetamine was first synthesized, the goal was not to produce a drug that could be used for recreation.
A Japanese chemist is the mind behind the methamphetamine drug. A different stimulant was used to synthesize Methamphetamine. The first batch of the drug was synthesized in 1893.
There were two subgroups of stimulants used in the initial creation of Methamphetamine. These include:
The chemist made the drug for three particular purposes. The stimulant effect of the drug was shown to provide a highly effective option for the treatment of obesity. Thus, the drug became a weight loss drug in several medical settings.
Apart from its potential use as a weight-loss drug, the drug initially became a treatment option for asthma and narcolepsy too.
In 1919, Methamphetamine was synthesized from a commonly used stimulant known as amphetamine. This version of Methamphetamine was also synthesized in Japan.
The drug only made its way to the United States in the 1930s. At this time, a bronchial inhaler was created with methamphetamine content. Additionally, a nasal decongestant containing Methamphetamine was also introduced to the United States at the same time.
How Has Methamphetamine Created a Drug Abuse Problem?
When Methamphetamine was introduced to the medical industry, its purpose was not to create an illicit drug. The Japanese chemist behind the development of the drug was hoping to create an effective medical treatment for certain conditions.
When World War II placed the globe in chaos, troops started to turn to Methamphetamine due to its stimulant effects. Both sides of the war started to provide troops with Methamphetamine. The idea was to help keep the soldiers awake during the war – and ultimately provide performance enhancement to the troops.
This was essential when the use of Methamphetamine outside of medical settings started to pick up. More-and-more people started to turn to Methamphetamine as a way of keeping awake. It later became a recreational drug – to the point where the United States decided to outlaw the use of the drug in the 1970s. While it was outlawed, a continuous rise in use among US citizens wsd still observed.
Current Dangers Associated with Meth
In recent scientific publications, meth use is considered a public health pandemic. A consistent rise in meth use is noted, along with identifying an increase in meth labs.
There are multiple dangers currently associated with meth – including the use of methamphetamine drugs, as well as during the production of the illicit substance.
The dangers start with the production of the drug. Manufacturing of meth primarily happens in laboratories that are hidden from the public. These laboratories are considered illegal and mostly do not meet any type of safety standards required by a lab setting. Multiple amphetamine varieties, as well as additional stimulants, are combined in these laboratories. Chemicals are then added to provide an enhanced potency of the stimulant effect produced by the drugs.
The combination of these chemicals results in a dangerous setting. Several reports of meth labs exploding have been published in the past.
One publication report indicates that 9,338 incidents related to Methamphetamine were reported in the year 2014. The incidents did not only include accidents at these illegal laboratories. Several incidents reported cases of dumpsites identified, as well as the seizure of glassware and chemicals used in the production of meth.
Among those who utilize meth, several dangerous adverse reactions are to be expected. Both long and short-term adverse effects should be noted when it comes to the abuse of meth.
Short term adverse effects include:
- A false sensation of extreme energy and well-being. This causes many people to push their limits too far.
- As the drug wears off, the patient is at risk of experiencing serious crashes. This can lead to a mental breakdown in the patient. Physical breakdowns have also been reported.
- Extreme short-term weight loss is also common in people who abuse Methamphetamine. It is a stimulant, which means the drug suppresses hunger.
- Hyperactivity, delusions, irritability, aggression, and disturbed sleep are commonly noted.
- Serious short-term side effects tend to include hallucinations, extreme anxiety, insomnia, and paranoia.
Over the longer term, there are serious effects that gradually develop. The continuous use of Methamphetamine has been associated with cardiovascular collapse. Additionally, damage to the lung, kidney, and the liver has been noted too.
Methamphetamine In The Modern World
Methamphetamine has become a widely used drug today. According to scientific papers, the trend in meth usage started to increase significantly in the 1990s and has continuously risen over the last three decades. Today, it has become the second most commonly abused substance, falling just behind cannabis.
In one survey, it was found that an estimated 4.7% of people in the United States have used meth in the past. The study focused on collecting data related to the recreational use of the drug.
A significant increase in visits to an emergency department due to meth use was noted between 2007 and 2011. In 2007, a total of 67,954 cases were reported by emergency departments throughout the United States. By 2011, the annual incidence of meth-related visits to these departments increased to 102,961.
Among those visiting an emergency department, 62% were found to have used meth alongside other illicit drugs. There was a 22% reported prevalence of meth used in combination with cannabis products. Alcohol use, in combination with meth, was reported in 16% of the cases.
Current Treatment Options For Misuse
Patients treated at emergency departments following complications caused by Methamphetamine are released following the administration of appropriate treatments. This is currently a concern regarding the public health concern caused by the recreational use of the drug. When patients are released immediately without any intervention, it may contribute to future events where the individual is in need of recurrent medical treatment.
Studies advise that intervention during emergency department visits need to be prioritized. This can assist in helping the patient understand the dangers that are associated with meth use. Appropriate referrals can be made during the patient’s visit. The patient may then be presented with an effective treatment plan to assist with their substance use disorder.
There are multiple approaches that can be taken as part of a treatment program for meth addiction. Patients may be referred to a methamphetamine abuse rehab center in North Texas, like Stonegate Center Hilltop for women, to assist in the process. During an initial consultation, the patient will be asked about symptoms, and the severity of the addiction needs to be assessed.
Initial treatment may be provided by a 24/7 medical detox for meth addiction near Fort Worth, Texas. During detox, cessation of meth use is critical. The detox period helps the patient deal with the initial withdrawal symptoms, which tend to be worse during the first few days.
According to one study, several pharmacological methods have been identified as effective in the treatment of meth addiction. Some pharmacological options that can be introduced into the patient’s treatment plan include:
- GABAergic agents, also known as gabapentin
- Serotonergic agents, such as an SSRI or mirtazapine
- Dopamine partial agonist agents, such as aripiprazole
The same study reported positive results when patients were provided with three particular drugs:
Agonist replacement drugs are now also considered a potential treatment option. Drugs that contain methylphenidate or d-amphetamine have been shown to be effective at reducing the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient. Cravings for meth may also be reduced when these drugs are provided during the detoxification period.
A chemist in Japan was the first to synthesize Methamphetamine. During this time, the chemical was synthesized as a medication. The drug was used in the treatment of both asthma and narcolepsy. The stimulant effect of the drug also made it a potential weight loss option. Today, the drug has created a problem with recreational use and misuse.