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What is Methamphetamine and Methamphetamine Addiction?

Posted on 21 Nov 2008

Methamphetamine: Many people have heard about it, but many are unaware of the characteristics of methamphetamine.

"Methamphetamine has been around for a long time, but it seems that recently it has gained certain notoriety and addiction rates are high," comments Mary Rieser, Executive Director for a prominent drug and alcohol program. "This is one drug you want to know about and educate your children on. It has been reported that it is so addictive that one dose can make an addict. Beware of the signs of methamphetamine abuse, and get anyone taking methamphetamine into an affordable drug rehab fast. Their lives depend on it."

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug that dramatically affects the central nervous system. It is usually illegally produced and distributed.

Meth comes in several forms, including powder, crystal, rocks, and tablets. When it comes in the crystal form it is called “crystal meth.”

Meth can be taken by swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting it with a hypodermic needle.

Unlike drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which are derived from plants, meth can be manufactured using a variety of store bought chemicals.

The most common ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. The ingredients that are used in the process of making meth can include: ether, paint thinner, Freon®, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from inside batteries).

Meth is often manufactured or “cooked” in very crude laboratories. Many of these labs are not sophisticated operations and do not require sophisticated chemistry equipment. And the people who cook the meth usually do not have any chemistry training. Cooking meth is relatively simple, but highly dangerous and toxic.

There are two basic categories of meth labs:

Superlabs produce large quantities of meth and supply organized drug trafficking groups that sell the drug in communities across the U.S. Most of the larger labs are controlled by Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations operating in the U.S. and Mexico.

Small Toxic Labs produce smaller quantities of meth. These labs can be set up in homes, motel rooms, inside automobiles, and in parks or rural areas -- really almost anywhere.

How does meth affect a user?

Using meth causes an increase in energy and alertness, a decrease in appetite, and an intense euphoric “rush.” That’s in the short term.

With sustained use, a meth user can develop a tolerance to it. The user may take increasingly higher doses of meth trying to catch that high he or she first experienced. They may take it more frequently or may go on binges. They may change the way they takes meth. For example a user may have started by taking a pill, but as she develops a tolerance she may begin injecting it. Addiction is likely.

In the long term, a person using meth may experience irritability, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, sleeplessness, confusion, aggressive feelings, violent rages, cravings for more meth, and depression. They may become psychotic and experience paranoia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions. The paranoia may lead to homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

A fairly common hallucination experienced by meth users is the so-called crank bug. The user gets the sensation that there are insects creeping on top of, or underneath, her skin. The user will pick at or scratch her skin trying to get rid of the imaginary bugs. This scratching can create open sores that may become infected.

Meth reduces the amount of protective saliva around the teeth. Meth users also consume excess sugared, carbonated soft drinks, tend to neglect personal hygiene, grind their teeth and clench their jaws, leading to what is commonly called “meth mouth.” Teeth can eventually fall out of users’ mouths—even as they do simple things like eating a sandwich.

High doses of meth can elevate body temperature to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels. High doses can also cause convulsions.

People can die as a result of using meth.

Because meth is so addictive, the distance between the short and long term effects may not be very long.

How does meth affect everyone else?

As you can imagine, all those toxic chemicals used in the meth manufacturing process take a toll on the environment. Every pound of meth made can generate up to five pounds of toxic waste that may seep into the soil and groundwater.

The manufacturing process also generates toxic fumes. These fumes can severely harm anyone exposed to them. Meth labs also generate highly explosive gases.

Meth also has a very serious impact on children. Many children are rescued from homes with meth labs or meth using parents. Meth, chemicals, and syringes are all within reach of these children. Parents high on meth neglect their children. And the mental, physical, and emotional consequences for these Drug Endangered Children are often severe.

Millions of our tax dollars are spent each year to clean up meth labs, to care for drug endangered children, and to pay for law enforcement to deal with the meth problem.

*Source: USDOJ.gov

If you know someone with a drug problem, send them to Surf City Drug Rehab. Where we have the highest outcomes in the industry.
For more information on drug addiction rehab, methamphetamine addiction, or drug education, call Surf City Drug Rehab at 714-658-1152

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Holiday Season Best Time For Beating Drug Addiction

Posted on 21 Nov 2008

Family get-togethers. Warm cheer, cozy chats.
“Unfortunately, the holiday season brings to light problems or situations where people realize that someone they know and love may need rehab,” comments Michael James, Executive Director at Surf City Drug Rehab. “Actually, the best time for drug rehab is during the holidays. These can be depressing, which can lead to more drug abuse; these can be dangerous, as drug addiction can take their life.”

Surf City Drug Rehab announced a campaign to make drug rehab services available to as many families as possible during the holiday season. Help with financing and partial scholarships for those who qualify are all part of Surf City Drug Rehab’s effort to make 2009 the best year for as many people as possible.

The Director stated: “Today many people are worried about the economy and with an addict in the family the stress is even greater. Now that the holidays are upon us, many families need guidance during these trying times. I founded this program because I someone close to me had become addicted to drugs. Surf City Drug Rehab turned out to be the only methodology of treatment that was helpful after many failed attempts at drug rehab. I wanted others to have the same joy that I had in seeing someone get their life back. In many ways, I got my life back too.

“I want to spread the word during this holiday season that I absolutely know that 2009 can be the best year in the life of someone who does the program. I feel so strongly about this that I am inviting anyone with an addiction problem to call me personally.”

“Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If there is a drug abuser in your life, put rehab on the list.

“Believe it or not, the best time for drug or alcohol rehabilitation is during the holidays. The addict is kept safe, leaving all free to enjoy themselves. Holiday depression that can lead to further drug abuse is replaced by hope.

“At Surf City Drug Rehab we have activities planned throughout the holidays and families are invited to join in the festivities. The best time to start the program is now, so that the client can be well through the program by holiday time.

“Bring in the New Year with a new life. Start yours today and let it continue for many years to come.”

Call Surf City Drug Rehab 714-658-1152 for more information on effective drug addiction treatment or drug education.

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Doctors Learning to Spot Substance Abuse Problems

Posted on 21 Nov 2008

Hundreds of young doctors training in San Antonio will learn new ways to spot substance abuse problems and get help for their patients quickly.

That's the purpose of a new federal grant for The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

UTHSC pediatric resident Tony Uranga is one of the next generations of doctors being trained at San Antonio's UT Health Science Center. Besides learning how to diagnose disease, he'll be getting special training on how to screen families for substance abuse.

"It's not something that they readily teach you in medical school," he said. "It's a very sensitive topic, so it's hard to broach, so there's definitely an art in the way you bring it up."

It's difficult to talk to people about questionable personal habits — activities like binge drinking, illegal drug use, prescription drug abuse, even legal activities like smoking.

Yet Dr. Janet Williams, a UTHSC pediatrics professor, who is training new physicians, says these students need more guidance in how to tackle these tough topics.

"We want to screen people through special interview techniques and briefly intervene on their lives, get them to understand this is a problem," she said.

The training program will start with pediatric and family medicine residents, and expand to included departments like OB-GYN, psychiatry and trauma. Over the next five years, the UTHSC hopes to arm budding doctors with ways to spot abusive behaviors, inspire their patients to change and get them the help they need.

"We want them to be much more aware of what are the resources out there? What can people do? How can people stop smoking? Cut down on their drinking? Stop drinking? Stop using drugs at all?" Dr. Williams said.

The UTHSC will spend almost $2 million in federal grant money over the next five years for this substance abuse training. The school is one of only 11 sites in the country to be awarded this grant money.

Click here for more information on top rated drug rehabs

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A Survey of Drug Use on Campus

Posted on 21 Nov 2008

The Admissions Office viewbook contains many images of Yale: students studying in the Bass Library, lounging on Old Campus and performing with a cappella and dance groups. Yet absent from the ivy-strewn pictorials are images of grungy off-campus parties and the Saturday night lines outside Toad’s Place. There are no images of students partying, drinking or — heaven forbid — doing drugs.

But just as alcohol-fueled pregames and crowded frat parties flavor some students’ Yale experience, so too do alternative and mainstream drugs shape the experience of some subgroups of Yale’s undergraduate population — though no more or no less than at the average university, a News survey has found.

In a poll sent last week to 600 undergraduates, 35 percent of the 300 respondents said they have used drugs while at Yale. That puts the Yale student body’s drug use almost exactly on par with the average at other schools: 36.6 percent of undergraduates nationwide said in 2005 that they had used an illicit drug at least once in the previous year, according to a study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of respondents to the News poll indicated that, even if they themselves do not use drugs, they know more than 10 Elis who do.

In the wake of the University’s decision in September to create Yale’s first-ever director of alcohol and substance abuse initiatives, a new Dean’s Office post the University is trying to fill by next fall, it seems an apt time to explore an activity that remains largely hidden at Yale: drug use. In extensive interviews with seven Yale students concerning their experiences using drugs at Yale, it became clear that hard drug use tends to be concentrated in certain social groups on campus — which themselves cannot be stereotyped or categorized, but rather are defined by their reasons for using drugs.

Alcohol vs. Drugs

One point of agreement among students interviewed — whose names have been changed to protect their privacy — was the clear rejection of the social perception that drugs are morally wrong.

Sam, a senior in Jonathan Edwards College, said that although he feels Yale and society at large assign a moral judgement to marijuana use because it is illegal, he himself does not subscribe to the doctrine that just because something is illegal, it is therefore morally wrong.

In a similar vein, Sue, a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College, said she is constantly surprised when people who look down on harder drugs take prescription medication.

“There is this culture of, ‘Oh, you do Adderall, you’re normal. Oh, you do acid, that’s scary!’ ” she said, “when they are both amphetamines.”

John, a senior in Jonathan Edwards College, added that drug use is not “sanctioned” at Yale the same way that alcohol use is and that for that reason, students at Yale abuse alcohol to a much greater extent than they do illicit drugs. (Indeed, last year, the University twice took disciplinary action against students for drug law violations, compared to 74 times for liquor violations, according to U.S. Department of Education records.)

James Perlotto ’78, chief of student medicine for Yale University Health Services, and Marie Baker, a YUHS clinical psychologist and substance abuse counselor, said in interviews that alcohol is by far the most common drug used and abused by students here. Of the respondents to the News poll, 3 in 4 students said they have imbibed alcohol at least once while at Yale.

The seven students interviewed said they found the perceived double standard especially ironic, given the significant harm that alcohol can do.

John, in particular, said that a sort of “why bother” attitude persists on campus due to the school’s pseudo sanctioning of alcohol use and the ease with which alcohol can be obtained.

“But alcohol can really mess you up,” he said.

Underground ‘Social’ Network

One of the reasons that drugs may be less prevalent than alcohol on campus is that they are simply harder to find, John said. While alcohol is relatively easy to acquire, when it comes to drugs, he said, one must “know the right people.”

Indeed, the seven students interviewed said their social circles were integral to the development and support of their drug use.

Those supply chains and activities, in turn, reinforce existing social groups since they also function as a shared interest, many of the students said.

However, despite the fact that New Haven is an urban area, all the students interviewed said that the drug market in the surrounding area leaves much to be desired. Sue, who said she experimented with drugs while living in New Haven over the summer, found that the minute students arrived on campus for the fall semester, demand for drugs went up — and so did prices.

As a result of the high prices, she said, the only Yale students who buy drugs from townies during the school year are “rich frat boys.”

Recently, a sophomore in Morse College who is also a Yale fraternity brother familiar with the use of drugs in Greek life said that, while last year cocaine use in his frat had been confined to a small group of seniors, this year, a number of brothers from several fraternities began using cocaine recreationally on the weekends as part of their Toad’s pregame.

Even several freshmen new to Yale’s social scene said in interviews that they understand the need for social connections to obtain drugs.

One freshman in Ezra Stiles College, Fred, who described himself as “overly social,” said that because his acquaintances span class years and residential colleges, he has access to a wide array of possible suppliers.

Fred also said he is not surprised that other Yalies use drugs.

“You have a lot of smart people in one place,” he said of Yale. “Of course there are drugs.”

But even those in the know are not always able acquire what they want.

Recently, John said, “everyone is looking for LSD.” But, he said, nobody seems to know anyone who has any.

Enhancing Mental Performance

Though the students interviewed had similar ways of acquiring drugs, their reasons for using differed. For John, experimenting with drugs such as ecstasy and acid allowed him to think about advanced mathematical theories from an entirely different perspective, as he explained it. He said he was profoundly affected when a professor he once had at Yale attributed his mathematical brilliance to the fact that he did “nothing but acid” in the ’60s.

John suggested a correlation between being a successful mathematician and using drugs. For instance, he pointed out, the late Paul Erdos, an eccentric and renowned Hungarian mathematician, regularly used amphetamines.

As the story goes, Erdos’ addiction got to such a state that his friend famously bet him that he could not stop taking amphetamines for a month. After Erdos won the bet, he said that because he had not used drugs for a month, his research had stagnated.

“Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas,” Erdos said of his mental state on amphetamines. “Now, I get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I’d have no ideas, just like an ordinary person.”

Sam similarly finds that it is the mind-expanding properties of marijuana that draw him to the drug. Indeed, it has been while high that Sam said he has gotten some of his best senior thesis ideas and that it has been while high that he has done his most creative graphic design work.

He added that he has found marijuana allows him to think in different ways and be conscious of things he did not think he would be otherwise.

‘Drug Nerds’

On the other hand, Sue said it is a combination of understanding and experiencing the biological effects of experimental drugs that most interests her.

“There are druggies and there are drug nerds,” Sue said. “Drug nerds know the science behind them, know the way it affects the individual’s biochemistry. They are smarter about their use.”

Sue described her first night doing drugs — a summer night in New Haven — as a regular evening. She said that she understood what she was about to do very clearly before she took the plunge.

Within her circle of friends, Sue said that drugs are always done under safe circumstances. For instance, they consider frat parties and Toad’s Place as not fit for their kind of use. Sue further explained that she believes there is a sort of implicit “druggie code” at Yale that nobody she knows breaks: Nobody gives anyone anything without first telling him or her what it is and educating him or her about it.

In particular, Sue said that the first time anyone ever does a drug, he or she should have complete information about its effects. First-time users, she added, should never take a high dose, and they should be with people who have done the drug before.

Fred, who also refers to himself as a drug nerd, said that the appeal of acid is its ability to show a person life from a completely different perspective. Having one’s reality shattered in this way, he said, is “consciousness-expanding.”

“It’s like seeing the world from the top of a mountain, except, instead of walking it, you took the ski lift,” he said, quoting Aldous Huxley, informally considered to be the “spiritual father” of the hippie movement.

‘Don’t ask, Don’t Tell’

Indeed, despite their belief that drug use is looked down on by society at large, students interviewed who do not use drugs said they believe Yale to have a fairly permissive campus — one that doesn’t pass judgment on drug users.

“There’s not a lot of space for people to be judgmental about more serious drugs,” community health educator Elizabeth Deutsch ’11 said, adding that she does not personally know many people who use drugs other than alcohol and marijuana. “I feel there just isn’t that much [abuse] to be judgmental about.”

Should a student run into trouble or feel that he or she is approaching that point, campus resources abound, Perlotto said, adding that there are many options available at YUHS for students who are concerned about substance abuse.

“They will find that we are very non-judgmental, very understanding and very committed to helping students,” he said.

Walden Peer Counseling, a student-run group, offers a nightly support line for students dealing with personal issues, including substance use issues. Students dealing with substance use issues can also attend the Narcotics Anonymous meetings held at St. Paul’s Church on Chapel Street, Baker said.

But these seven students said they feel they are in control. They call it substance use, not abuse. They said they have come to fit their drug use into their lives at Yale, though what role drugs will play, if any, in their post graduate lives remains unclear.

Sam said that although he has heard from friends who went to work in banking or consulting of bosses or supervisors using drugs with subordinates, he cannot fully imagine what that would be like.

“When do you stop?” he asked. “When you have kids, a family? Do you? I don’t know.”
Click here for more information on top rated drug rehab programs

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Posted on 03 Nov 2008

Edmonton — No matter how much Lana Marie Christophersen tried to get clean, the world of drugs kept dragging her back down.

The 26-year-old found herself in a vicious cycle that may have eventually took her life, a friend suggested.

“She had been involved with drugs before, and it was an uphill battle. She’d kick it, then she was back on it. Then when she got pregnant, she kicked it again. It was a hard struggle,” said her friend Sherry Reinhart.

Last Saturday, the Beaumont-raised Christophersen was killed in an East Vancouver apartment explosion. She had just moved in after answering an ad from her new roommate, a 21-year-old man who is now in critical condition after the explosion.

Vancouver police on Wednesday charged Jamie Cliff, 34, with second-degree murder and attempted murder. Cliff was Christophersen’s ex-boyfriend.

Her friends are trying to piece together what happened.

Reinhart, who has known Christophersen for the past nine years, says her friend was a wonderful person who would bend over backwards for you.

“She was really strong and felt she could do everything on her own. Even though people would give her a helping hand, she would say, ‘No. I can handle it,’” she said.

Another friend who didn’t want to be identified said she was a sweet girl and a good mom to her son, Chase, who is now with his grandparents.

Reinhart said Christophersen moved to Vancouver a year ago so her son could grow up near his grandparents, and when Reinhart went out west to visit her last year, Christophersen was clean. But in the past few months she started getting involved with a guy and became difficult to get ahold of.

Reinhart doesn’t believe Christophersen was doing drugs again but got caught up in that world.

“If your boyfriend is in a gang, even if you’re not in a gang you get dragged down with it,” she said.

A Facebook site has been set up in memory of Christophersen. One post by Shannon Wilck said she was a beautiful, free-spirited soul who had an impact on so many lives.


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