Can crystal meth be sniffed?
Crystal meth : Psycho drug that destroys
Present, alert, in a good mood, talkative, thirsty for action, confident of yourself, light-hearted, enterprising, persistent and motivated even with rather boring work, erotically stimulated, free of fear, pain and banal needs such as eating, drinking, a short one Rest or a nap: who wouldn't want to feel like this more often?
Among the drugs, in addition to the expensive, short-acting and quickly addictive cocaine, it is above all the amphetamines that promise such an effect. The synthetically or semi-synthetically produced substances are psychostimulants. They have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, increase heart activity, body temperature and blood pressure, ensure increased release of the messenger substances dopamine and norepinephrine, make you awake and alert. 26 million consumers worldwide use amphetamine-containing substances as drugs.
The effect is strong even in low doses
In contrast, members of this family are rarely used as medicinal products, if only because they can quickly become addictive. A major exception is methylphenidate, which is chemically very similar to amphetamine, better known under the name Ritalin. The substance has a “paradox” effect on people with the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD: The agent makes children, adolescents and adults with ADHD who suffer from severe physical restlessness and lack of concentration, calmer and more alert.
The crystal meth family member is the crystalline form of N-methylamphetamine (chemical molecular formula C10H15N). It can better overcome the body's own barrier to the entry of chemical substances into the brain, the so-called blood-brain barrier, and therefore has a strong effect even in low doses. Compared to pure amphetamine, which is made up of speed and which is also a component of many “designer drugs”, its effects last longer. It can lead to severe intoxication with hallucinations and acute psychosis as a consequence.
It's about more than partying and dancing longer
While speed is usually snorted (and can damage the nasal lining), crystal meth is often smoked or injected into the vein. In this way, high concentrations of active ingredients flood quickly. "There is no question that crystal meth is a fast-acting drug that is very destructive when consumed regularly and which quickly becomes psychologically dependent, especially if it is inhaled or consumed intravenously," said the German Central Office for Addiction Issues (DHS) in its 2013 Yearbook Addiction.
The motives for this consumption go far beyond holding out partying and dancing, as a survey of 392 consumers on behalf of the federal government shows, the results of which the Center for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research (ZIS) at the University of Hamburg recently published. The respondents state, for example, that they took crystal meth “to get through the boring education awake”, “to do monotonous household chores”, “to cover up illnesses”, “to be fit for the children” and “to prove that I am still fit for the job market at 54 ”. Many users take it on a daily basis. Even to forestall a change in mood and exhaustion that occurs when the effects cease. Many also report mixed use, typically with cannabis or opiates, which they take to calm down and sleep. 60 percent of the respondents say that they feel an addictive pressure. But many also report that they get along with "tiny doses" and manage their everyday lives well.
"Housewife Chocolate" and "Göring Pill" in the war
26 percent of those surveyed also stated that they had been in the habit of doing this for more than ten years. So crystal meth is by no means new. Crystal meth, the precursors of which are found in many commercial drugs, has been known for at least 20 years near the Czech border.
But it is worth going back even further in history: In 1938, pills made from the clear crystals of methamphetamine hydrochloride came on the market under the name Pervitin. The remedy - initially available without a prescription - quickly became popular in Germany. Even pralines mixed with pervitin could be bought: snacking on “housewife's chocolate” was supposed to help women fight a bad mood. Above all, however, the “miracle pill” soon strengthened the fighting morale and stamina of the Wehrmacht soldiers, and helped airmen in particular to get through the nightly missions. The Wehrmacht is said to have ordered 35 million tablets in April 1940 alone. And this despite the fact that medical journals warned of side effects such as insomnia, emaciation, damage to nerve cells and teeth, problems with the heart, circulation and kidneys. But many soldiers could no longer do without it. “Perhaps you can get me some more pervitin for my supply?” Asked the 22-year-old soldier Heinrich Böll in a field post letter from Poland to his family in May 1940. The career of the "Göring pill" continued in the Vietnam War.
Withdrawal begins with a lot of sleep
In comparison, the 2012 addiction survey figures seem almost modest: three percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have taken a drug from the amphetamine spectrum at some point in their life, according to estimates, one per thousand of the population is dependent on it. In regions close to the border, such as Upper Franconia, however, this problem has increased significantly in recent years. The Wagner city of Bayreuth has meanwhile also had to put up with the nickname “Crystal City”. The number of patients who seek treatment in the local district hospital to get rid of amphetamine-containing drugs has increased by a factor of 7.5 in the past 15 years, as Daniela Thurn reports, psychologist at the drug rehab ward of the district hospital. "Many of the around 100 patients in this group every year take various drugs, including speed, ecstasy, cannabis and opiates, the latter for 'coming down' and vaping, the majority of them have experience with crystal."
At the beginning of the treatment, many of the Crystal patients catch up on sleep that has been overdue for days. Only then can the interdisciplinary program with group and individual discussions, occupational therapy and exercise begin. Psychoeducation is also part of it, which is about recognizing addictive pressure, developing strategies to resist new drug offers and to survive in everyday life without them. Long-term data on the success of the treatment are still lacking. And despite the problem of crystal meth, one thing is certain: Overall, one legal drug continues to play the main role in the system of outpatient and inpatient addiction support and addiction therapy: alcohol.
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