faces of meth
January 26, 2005 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Faces of Meth : a visual study of the physical effects of drug abuse.
posted by crunchland (64 comments total)
Meth is a BAD drug. Some of these people are unrecognizable after a year of using. Sad, but good website. This is all they should show kids about meth when it comes to drug prevention. Make them realize that some drugs really are bad for you and stop telling them pot will kill them.
posted by rooftop secrets at 8:13 PM on January 26, 2005

But, on the other hand, a meth high is the greatest high in the world.

Guess everything has it's tradeoffs.
posted by cmonkey at 8:21 PM on January 26, 2005

Get Pfizer on the phone. This is a blockbuster weight-loss product!
posted by Kwantsar at 8:22 PM on January 26, 2005

I wouldn't mind some meth...where's my iron?
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:25 PM on January 26, 2005

This was a part of a series of articles running in my local paper. Here's some information behind the photos and Oregon's continuing struggle with meth. This link may ask you for your zip code, year of birth and gender before giving you the articles, but in this case 5 seconds of inconvenience may be worth it.

I tend to be pretty easy going about people's lifestyle choice's, but meth is a bad choice, everytime. I'm not saying "never do it," but maybe I'm saying "never do it again." This is one of the most serious ways to fuck your life up forever since they split the atom.
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:28 PM on January 26, 2005

Crank: Made In America - chilling stuff!
posted by ericb at 8:33 PM on January 26, 2005

Farked, Slashdotted, Metafiltered.

Anyone have a mirror?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:37 PM on January 26, 2005

"Do you know you are taking the same crystal meth as Hitler? The stuff that was being used well into 1997, the government outlawed one of the ingredients and so the orignal process was resurrected, the one as used by the Nazis. It was first synthesized by the Germans in the early part of the 20th century. Hitler was a crystal addict. The new version is much more potent than the stuff you were taking before 1997, which is the main reason why it is so hard to break an addiction. Dr. Howard Grossman told me this bit of history. Maybe I shouldn’t have told you about the Hitler part. To the more twisted among you it may be a turn-on." - from Larry Kramer's recent speech at Cooper Union.
posted by ericb at 8:39 PM on January 26, 2005

Chilling. Also beware of Fool's Meth. get hooked on this stuff and your cell mate could turn you into a queen bee.
posted by Hildago at 8:46 PM on January 26, 2005

Thanks for the Kramer link, ericb.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:58 PM on January 26, 2005

I wouldn't mind some meth...where's my iron?

Was that supposed to be ironic?
posted by afroblanca at 9:49 PM on January 26, 2005

Meth! Ooooooo, meth!

I just can't stop singing that song.
posted by majcher at 9:54 PM on January 26, 2005

Yes meth is dangerous stuff. I've seen it destroy several people, some who will never recover. But as drug prevention, I'm not sure photos like this are the right approach. Yes they might scare some people into never trying the stuff. But haven't we learned yet that scare tactics don't work?

For ever person who lets meth control them to this extent there are many people who use it occasionally and keep their drug habit under control. They still might be violent, paranoid assholes while high (violent, paranoid assholes who need to shut the fuck up might I add), but they never let meth control their sober life. And if you start telling people meth is only bad because of the worst outcomes, there are plenty of people who will look at what meth is doing to them and think "Hey, I'm still in control, my friends are still in control, maybe all that stuff people have been telling me about meth is a bunch of hooey." And ironically that's the kind of thinking that leads to these kinds of photos.
posted by aspo at 9:56 PM on January 26, 2005

BBC put something similar up a few months ago. In Pictures: Face of Addiction
posted by trinarian at 10:45 PM on January 26, 2005

Do you know you are taking the same crystal meth as Hitler?

Same as JFK, for that matter.
posted by jtron at 10:49 PM on January 26, 2005

Is it just me, or did some of them look better after using meth?
posted by adrober at 10:57 PM on January 26, 2005

Methamphetamines are big business. The state of Oregon recently passed token legislation to try to make it harder to get pseudoephedrine, but it's like trying to stop the tide. There is a very active market for it, and producers will supply where there is demand. It's sad, really. There is really a major need for treatment of the people who are addicted to meth, but good luck finding it. This is an situation crying out for treatment and prevention, but the criminal justice system is forced to treat addicts as criminals. It's scary to watch schools close while prisons open, and the "conservatives" (if only they were!) gut social services to fund perpetual war instead of dealing with ominous domestic issues.
posted by mullingitover at 11:06 PM on January 26, 2005

I think its odd how meth is demonized by the media, while new children are signed up for Ritalin / Adderal daily. They are basically the same drug
posted by sophist at 11:27 PM on January 26, 2005

My aunt was a meth addict since probably the late 1970's, Perhaps I should call her my ex-aunt: she and my uncle divorced years ago, and he's been a single parent to my two cousins (one in college, one still in Middle School) for years. She was cut out of their lives--all of our lives--years ago, for everyone's good. There are no more family photos of her in my cousins' house. The emotional damage she did to them all, especially the kids, who were so young and helpless when they were stuck living with her, is enormous.

She was offered all the help in the world, the best money and discretion could buy: private treatment clinics, Hazelden, every doctor in New York at her disposal. She must have been in and out of rehab at least ten times. She simply never cleaned up. Eventually, the meth destroyed her mind, turning her from a horribly neglectful parent to just plain cruel to outright paranoiac. Last I heard, she was ripping out the walls of her formerly gorgeous 5th Avenue apartment in search of the "bugs" behind the walls. I don't know if she meant insects or wiretaps, but I suppose it doesn't matter much.

The really sad thing, the thing that almost makes me feel sorry for her despite what a horrible, horrible person she was to my uncle and cousins, is that the meth addiction, at least at first, was not her fault. She battled a weight problem for most of her life--nothing too serious, but enough that she got a prescription in the 1970's for a meth derivative as a weight loss pill / stimulant. Yes, this was legal. Yes, this was prescribed by a doctor. For years. By the time the FDA finally yanked meth derivatives off the market, it was too late, she was hooked.

On the other hand, during the few years when she was not on meth, she was drinking, including while pregnant with one of my cousins.

She was found dead in a Puerto Rico hotel room this past Friday and buried in New York this week. She was 44.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:45 PM on January 26, 2005

I should point out that I posted that not because I'm looking for sympathy or something--no one in my family had seen or talked to her in years--but to emphasize what kind of damage meth can do to a person, and to everyone that person touches. It turns people--yes, even pretty perky blonde-haired all-American-looking Nice Jewish Girls from Scarsdale, like she was once--into the walking dead, into ghosts.

For the love of God, if you are doing meth, get help and get off it before it's too late.

Do it now, before you start having sudden seizures while out at the movie theatre like she did, before your brain is eaten away, before your hair gets stringy and your fingernails turn yellow the way I remember hers did. Before you decide to live on Diet Pepsi, and only Diet Pepsi. Before your children stop speaking your name.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:54 PM on January 26, 2005

Does anyone remember the link from a while back which showed a time series of a single woman at intervals over several decades? Seeing the 'story arc' rather than a simple 'before/after' was morbidly fascinating.

Not that this isn't powerful stuff too, I've just been trying to remember that link for a while.
posted by freebird at 11:55 PM on January 26, 2005

On the other hand, I know a guy who was fucked up for a while on meth. He saw his friends wasting their lives, and he decided to get off the stuff. After dropping out of high school in his teens, he worked to get to college in his mid-20s and has now earned the first of what I expect will be many degrees. It's possible his short-term memory was fried by the drug, or maybe he never had much short-term memory in the first place. But he's doing better than a lot of folks who never touch drugs.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:56 PM on January 26, 2005

Meth is bad. I decided I would never touch it after one of my sister's friends, at age 15, was addicted. Her boyfriend/dealer found out she had gotten pregnant, as well. He cut her off. While going through withdrawal, another friend let her crash at her house. The withdrawing girl ended up in a closet with a miscarried fetus for three days.
posted by bastionofsanity at 12:06 AM on January 27, 2005

But, God damn, the sex is good ...
posted by lacus at 1:12 AM on January 27, 2005

Like quite a few others have said, I know quite a few people who've had their lives disintegrated by meth. A friend of mine is currently dealing with quite a bit of bullshit because of a family member who's using again. Hell, growing up I had to deal with far too many people who were using (turns out my mom's boyfriend for part of my early youth was one of the largest producers/suppliers in southern California) and now that I'm an adult I can't stand to be around meth addicts. Makes me intensely uncomfortable.

On a brighter note, majcher, you absolutely made my week. I've been trying to find that clip for a LONG time now. almost no one I know had seen that when it was on TV and I just couldn't explain it adequately. THANK YOU. I hurt from laughing.
posted by Stunt at 1:40 AM on January 27, 2005

It was first synthesized by the Germans in the early part of the 20th century.

Not quite true, according to good ol' Erowid - a German synthed amphetamine in 1887, and meth was first synthed by a Japanese scientist in 1919.

I find the Hitler argument somewhat weird. So he took meth (allegedly)? He was also a vegetarian, a supporter of physical fitness - I'm not going to stop exercising just because Hitler thought it was a good idea...

As for meth: it's the only drug I can think of that my drug-using friends generally have a negative opinon of. That tells me all I feel I need to know...
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:50 AM on January 27, 2005

Your Meth Psychosis Stories...
posted by Thoth at 2:01 AM on January 27, 2005

From lacus' link:

"The effect of an IV hit of methamphetamine is the equivalent of 10 orgasms all on top of each other lasting for 30 minutes to an hour, with a feeling of arousal that lasts for another day and a half."

Damn. Tis a pity it's so damaging to the health.
posted by dydecker at 2:30 AM on January 27, 2005

One has to be cautious using any drug, and weigh dangers. But that does not mean that they cannot be sensibly enjoyed or used. That is why they should be legal: it destroys a lot of the appeal, the secrecy and most importanly, the profit industry for dealers.

But i think i remember learning that the U.S. gets a huge kickback for fighting its drug war. I don't remember how.

That link about orgasm-burnout was a new one on me. I'm glad to know it....Just in time!
posted by gorgor_balabala at 3:48 AM on January 27, 2005

gorgor_balabala, Asparagirl's aunt got her meth in a not only legal but doctor recommended way, and it destroyed her life.
posted by orange swan at 4:08 AM on January 27, 2005


Aspo- one does not 'let meth control them'. Meth is a highly addictive drug, and once you're addicted, you're fucked. Also, one cannot keep a drug habit 'under control'. Drug addiction is not a discipline problem, an emotional disorder, nor a moral shortcoming, but an incurable, often-fatal disease.

Most addicts do not recover. Asparagirl, that's a tragic story. The suffering your aunt caused your family likely paled in comparison to her own. She had a disease. No less nasty than a fatal cancer. Hers was not treatable.

What a tragedy that we deal with drug addicts (A.K.A. 'drunks', 'drug offenders', 'crackheads', 'inmates' etc) the way that we do.
posted by DuoJet at 4:29 AM on January 27, 2005

Asparagirl's aunt got her meth in a not only legal but doctor recommended way, and it destroyed her life.

Also it pays to remember methamphetamine is a much more potent, addictive substance that the doctor-prescribed amphetamines in pill form available in the bad old days (and today).

one cannot keep a drug habit 'under control'

Of course you can.
posted by dydecker at 4:33 AM on January 27, 2005

Of course you can.

I stand corrected.
posted by DuoJet at 4:49 AM on January 27, 2005

I was in Oregon with a cold in November and I had to show a pharmacist an ID to buy some Sudafed. Then I heard this NPR story about it: Oklahoma and Oregon have already restricted its sale -- to great effect -- and a bunch of other states are considering it. Predictably, Sudafed's manufacturer Pfizer opposes the restrictions. In Europe they already sell a version that doesn't contain pseudoephedrine and which is apparently just as effective, and they intend to bring it to market here, but they want to keep selling the regular Sudafed "for people who have come to rely on it."
posted by coelecanth at 5:10 AM on January 27, 2005

One cannot keep a drug habit 'under control'

Some can, some can't - don't generalise.
posted by runkelfinker at 5:44 AM on January 27, 2005

some can??? who?

wtf are we talking about, who in the medical community is giving this drug a pass?

where are you getting the idea that this drug, can be "kept under control"

this is not pot, this is not like anything. this drug fucking burns holes in your brain.

posted by nola at 6:15 AM on January 27, 2005

freebird: here she is.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:24 AM on January 27, 2005

These pictures look terribly familiar to me. I have family members who were toothless by the age of 30 because of meth. And one developed congestive heart failure at 31. 31.

And then there are the other results of their habit: child neglect, stealing items from other family members to sell for drugs, stealing medications from family members (they stole my husband's Vicodin, on the very day he was prescribed it because he had his wisdom teeth removed), losing their children completely (a good thing under the circumstances, but obviously not the ideal situation for the family).

On preview:

"this is not pot, this is not like anything. this drug fucking burns holes in your brain."

So, so true.
posted by litlnemo at 6:26 AM on January 27, 2005

Asparagirl, very moving post.
posted by scratch at 6:37 AM on January 27, 2005

wtf are we talking about, who in the medical community is giving this drug a pass?

where are you getting the idea that this drug, can be "kept under control"

this is not pot, this is not like anything. this drug fucking burns holes in your brain.


Given the right disorder, the medical community will even prescribe meth too you: Desoxyn.

As usual, a drug's effects are in its usage. Meth can be some horrible shit, but you could replace almost any of these photos with pictures of people who have let their (other) substance abuse lead them into dereliction and poor health. Alchohol can do a pretty adequete job to, combined with a life on the street. "Burns holes in the brain" rhetorical strategies are not the most appropriate ways to approach these issues. Often problems can be linked to just plain overuse, lack of sleep (7 days and upward, over and over), routes of administration that exacerbate addiction (IV, smoking), and a lack of any attention to one's nutritional needs. It can be 'kept under control' however whether that is prudent anyway is another matter.
posted by Thoth at 7:28 AM on January 27, 2005

I dont know if this has been pointed out yet but most of those people werent exactly oil paintings to start with. Some of them actually look better in the after pics.
posted by criticalbill at 7:38 AM on January 27, 2005

Meth sucks. On the other hand, so do these photos.

A few of them do a nice job of showing the skin damage which meth users are prone to. However, most of them are something along the lines of "I did all this meth, and now my hair's all mussed up! I need a Jenny Jones makeover..."

My personal favourite is James Hibbs, 10 & 11. "4 months later" he has better skin, and a nice tan to boot. Oops. At least his hair got messier. I'm sorry, but if these photos are supposed to be dramatic, a lot of them are better omitted.
posted by mek at 9:11 AM on January 27, 2005

Duojet - thank you. You're quite correct that addiction is not something you can control. Honestly, I thought the notion of addiction as a disease was just a metaphor. It's not a metaphor. Addiction is a brain disease.

Maybe it's possible for some to moderate their drug use so as to not become physically addicted, maybe those that don't get addicted don't have a propensity for addiction to begin with. But, being hooked is forever. Drugs like meth or nicotine or alcohol can change the brain in permanent ways. You can't change it back by will power. Stopping use for years is often not enough to reset the effect on the brain of powerfully addictive drugs.
posted by stiggywigget at 9:24 AM on January 27, 2005

"It can be 'kept under control' however whether that is prudent anyway is another matter."

Levittown, Pennsylvania was the meth capital of the world in the mid/late 70's. More product was produced and sold in that town than any other in the country. I've seen so many people ruined by this shit. Some I knew well, some I didnt' care to. I guess it doesn't matter anymore, they're all dead.

The point being, to make the statement above is to misunderstand the nature of this drug and the user who succumbs to it. Meth is not what anyone would classify as a recreational drug.
posted by j.p. Hung at 10:13 AM on January 27, 2005

might of helped to mention I grew up right outside Levittown.
posted by j.p. Hung at 10:14 AM on January 27, 2005

I met meth a few years ago; while still married, my ex-wife got hooked on it by our neighbor, who happened to be an "escort" girl with a years-long habit. Within three months of her starting to use it, my ex had at lease one affair, started going on escort runs, and began shooting up (all without my knowledge, I only knew I didn't like her friend). We separated in January 2003, and at this moment, she's in prison on related charges including assault. She lost custody of both of her children (one was my stepson, the other my daughter), lost all her possessions, developed massive facial scars from the incessant picking, and basically has nothing left in her life.

Meth is not a recreational drug; it eats holes in the brain and destroys families and lives.

The worst part is though I want my daughter to have a mother, I cannot CANNOT bring myself to believe that she will be able to control the addiction when she gets out. Especially after reading all those linked stories...
posted by hurkle at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2005

The point being, to make the statement above is to misunderstand the nature of this drug and the user who succumbs to it. Meth is not what anyone would classify as a recreational drug.

Some of my closest freinds have been using meth recreationally within the club/party scene where I live for the best part of five years. None of them have succumbed, lost a job, failed to eat, become an anti-drug poster child or used on a basis that would damage their lifestyle. I don't 'misunderstand' at all. Drug can be are a societal problem, dependant on the context of their use.
posted by Thoth at 12:46 PM on January 27, 2005

I think it was Timothy Leary who said, to the effect, that recreational drugs are unique in that they also alter the consciousness of those who don't take them. The point being that drug taking is a vice in society. And that context itself creates or contributes to the "drug problem". Someone's who already breaking mores and laws by using drugs, is more likely to be, lax with regard to, and scrutinizing of, other mores. They are also likely to adopt lifestyles and communities where just the concept of drug-taking is accepted. Such communities inevitably include other drug-takers.

The current attitudes towards drugs are the evolutionary result of a certain mindset about the human condition i.e. what it means to be sober, what's willpower and what drives it, what's the 'right' way to live and enjoy life. Until these attitudes don't undergo deep introspection and reformation, drug use will "cause" lot more problems that they could, otherwise.
posted by Gyan at 1:55 PM on January 27, 2005

Correction: 'that' in last line --> 'than'
posted by Gyan at 1:57 PM on January 27, 2005

Asparagirl, amazing, wrenching story.

Aspo- one does not 'let meth control them'. Meth is a highly addictive drug, and once you're addicted, you're fucked. Also, one cannot keep a drug habit 'under control'. Drug addiction is not a discipline problem, an emotional disorder, nor a moral shortcoming, but an incurable, often-fatal disease.

I have always had a problem with the classification of addicition strictly as a disease. Because I think it definitely can be; there are obviously those who are more prone to addiction than others. A slight strain of alcoholism runs through my own family.

But at the same time, I've always thought that classifying addiction solely as a disease sort of lets addicts off the hook, in a way. Because it all does begin with choices, doesn't it? You choose to do the drug the first time, for whatever reason. You like the way it makes you feel; you choose to do it again.

Addiction begins as a process of conscious choices, doesn't it?

That ultimately it becomes a disease I have no doubt. And certainly certain personalities may become addicted a lot more quickly than others. But that's the point of this program, I think - to stop people before they start; to get people who haven't yet used meth to see the photos and say, "Boy, look what meth did to those people."

It might be wholly successful - but what other approach at this point is?
posted by kgasmart at 2:10 PM on January 27, 2005

Despite curbs, meth use spreading in U.S. (NBC News).
posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on January 27, 2005

Until these attitudes...undergo deep introspection and reformation, drug use will "cause" lot more problems tha[n] they could, otherwise.

Gyan, I have always appreciated the number and quality of comments you've made on this site in favor of drug law reform and changing attitudes towards recreational users. I suspect my views on those subjects, and related ones, would line up very closely with yours. (I am, for example, a financial contributor to the Marijuana Policy Project and keep my eye on legislation and referendum battles. And let's just say I know my way around Erowid.)

But meth is different, pure and simple. There's mostly-harmless, like pot. There's usually-harmless-but-know-what-and-how-much-you're-doing, like psychedelics or MDMA or some of the RC's--basically, entheogens. And then there's highly-addictive-highly-destructive-POISON, like meth or heroin or crack. Or cigarettes, for that matter, to a (very) slightly lesser extent.

Overall attitudes toward drug use needs to change in this country, most definitely. But people like us on the legalization and education side of this battle really really really need to be honest about just how destructive--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially--some of these chemicals are. My aunt's situation, as pointed out, occurred within a totally legal and socially acceptable framework--indeed, her taking a prescription was looked on far more favorably than her being twenty or thirty pounds overweight.

In short, broad-based legalization and social tolerance is not a panacea for the problems assoviated with drug use. I shudder to think what kind societal meltdown could happen if meth were ever legalized. I would fight any such legalization efforts, despite being on the same side of the proponents for the fight to legalize, say, pot.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:05 PM on January 27, 2005

Everything in moderation, including moderation.
posted by lacus at 3:19 PM on January 27, 2005

no you are right, i'm sorry.

it is rhetorical to suggest that meth burns holes in one's brain. because as scientists
have proven , with a monkey, you can enjoy drugs that have a 90% recidivism rate recreationally.
as long as you have a chat about them first.

kudos. you're so smart you're stupid. give this topic some more of you're pock marked brain's time and attention. please.

p.s. i know what an ad hominem attack is. thanks in advance for pointing it out college boy.
posted by nola at 3:26 PM on January 27, 2005

Asparagirl: And then there's highly-addictive-highly-destructive-POISON, like meth or heroin or crack.

I think we part company here. The National Health Service in Britain prescribes free legal heroin to a limited number of addicts (about 500) and is looking to expanding the program. These addicts are now socially functioning and not prostituting or stealing like they were earlier. Also, pure, controlled diacetylmorphine a.k.a. heroin, by itself is not toxic to the body, apart from constipation and impotence. The overdoses, HIV infection, vein collapses..etc are not inherent to the drug but due to the environment of drug use, which includes amateurs injecting black market material via shared needles, coupled with no specific accurate information about tolerance or dose ranges, and no controlled pure doses due to prohibition.

There's distorted, vague and stereotyped and incomplete education, even when under the guise of harm reduction. Incomplete because complete effective information would promote moderate use rather than the abstinence the public support of prohibition aims for.

Addiction, by itself, to anything, can be considered a legitimate problem, because people are repulsed at being held slave by anything. Humans crave the idea of being in control, and anything that threatens that and is not quickly amenable to conforming, is looked on very suspiciously. Use of virtually all drugs can be partitioned into use | misuse | abuse. It is also true that these partitions are not equally proportional for all drugs. Most of pot consumption will fall into the first group, and for meth most into the last two. But from the perspective of honest, sincere debate and inspection, it does no good to pretend that the first group does not exist, or to rush to conclusions about why, for a particular drug, consumption falls into the last two groups. Most of the research into drug addiction and abuse is controlled by government, since they are the gatekeepers of licit supply, sole authority for licenses, predominant funder of research and predominant and pervasive disseminator of 'information'. The National Institute of Drug Abuse likes to advertise on their press releases that they conduct 85% of all research worldwide into drugs of abuse. Given the atmosphere in the US of conservative attitudes and politcized science coupled with the lack of a potent pro-drugs-other-than-pot lobby to counterbalance, my confidence in the "knowledge" about recreational drugs is suspect. I've never personally used meth, nor do I intend to. Just like alcohol prohibition shifted consumption towards spirits and away from beers, and the repeal gradually restored the partitions. Legalizing all amphetamines will, I think, establish a equilibrium towards dextroamphetamine-like stimulants. Most users will rationally decide to try dex rather than meth.
posted by Gyan at 4:24 PM on January 27, 2005

Thanks for sharing nola. I can only relate my direct experiences. Your mileage may vary.. I don't need your sneering tone and insults, however. Thanks.
posted by Thoth at 4:58 PM on January 27, 2005

ok the last part was uncalled for and i admit it . . .

so . . . i'm sorry for saying your brain was pock marked.

posted by nola at 6:06 PM on January 27, 2005

Disclosure: I had some "up close and personal experience" with meth almost 20 years ago, give or take a few years. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that we parted ways after a long look at myself in a mirror and the thought that I might have to explain to my parents how a healthy 20 year old could have a heart attack. After looking at these photos and watching what it did to the people around me, I thank God that it didn't get it's hooks into me any further than it did and I was able to walk away pretty much unscathed.

Sadly, I had to watch one of my roommates go completely insane and watch the other burn every bridge she had while going crazy to a somewhat lesser degree. Even sadder is the fact that they weren't the only ones I knew over the years who crashed and burned on the stuff. This drug has one hell of a body count.

Meth is one of the most frighteningly seductive drugs I've ever experienced. I remember reading an article about it where a user described it as "sucking on a chocolate covered razor blade". Unfortunately, it's a very apt description.

I echo Asparagirl: if you're using meth, stop taking that shit NOW and get some help. Whatever you're getting out of it, it's not worth what it will do to you in the long run.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:08 PM on January 27, 2005

disclaimer: I've done it in the past. I'm not addicted; my addictions only go so far as coffee. Others, I understand, are not so fortunate. I don't blame them.

On the other hand, the fearmongering I sense from a number of you - not that there isn't reason to be afraid - worries me. Example:

asparagirl: Meth is a highly addictive drug, and once you're addicted, you're fucked. Also, one cannot keep a drug habit 'under control'. Drug addiction is not a discipline problem, an emotional disorder, nor a moral shortcoming, but an incurable, often-fatal disease.

Frankly, no. No, no, no. Perhaps you should include the disclaimer "offer only valid in the USA." Though, we could argue forever about meth, which has little research done in terms of treatment and harm reduction. Looking at drugs such as heroin, it is clear that this sort of fatal-addiction argument is completely invalid. Heroin addiction has been very successfully treated via prescription of the drug itself, as others have noted. Even if the addicts never successfully quit, they can function in society, hold down full time jobs, etc. The downward spiral which virtually all addicts in the States fall into is the result of their "disease" being criminalized and stigmatized rather than properly treated.

Don't pretend drugs are the apple on the tree we mustn't pick. It's a fallacy, and one that lends credence to arguments for prohibition. Furthermore, we already know that even if God himself came down and asked the world not to pick it, we would anyway. Prohibition doesn't work. The countries most passionately pursuing prohibition are the ones who suffer the greatest drug problems. Another argument for another thread, though. What addicts need is support; society needs to make sure they never burn all their bridges, or ruin their lives beyond repair. It does nobody any good to blame the bad, bad, eeeevil chemical compound and go on with our day.
posted by mek at 5:19 AM on January 28, 2005

Um, mek? I didn't say that. Please check your attributions.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:12 AM on January 28, 2005

A good number of people here commenting that have no idea what they are talking about.

There are differences between amphetamines, methamphetamines, crystal meth, and post-1997 meth/crystal meth.

Crystal meth as a recreational drug?

That is perhaps the most absurd thing I've ever read on Metafilter, and that's a stunning achievement.

Meth is the essence of drug addiction in one easily home-brewed concoction. It is a scourge.

To the posters above talking about how friends use it all the time with no ill effects... do they still have their teeth?

I don't think having your teeth destroyed due to the vapors from smoking or from the severe jaw clenching would make them all the desirable in the "clubs".

Taking a "speed" pill is what a high school cheerleader does. That is a completely different drug experience from smoking crystal meth.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:53 PM on January 29, 2005

What Ynoxas said. I've certainly, um, experimented quite a bit and never came across quite as alluring as meth. It's hard to understand when you are in it's thrall that this thing that makes you feel so happy, bright, energetic and focused is slowly destroying you - at least not until the hallucinations and suicidal depression kicks in.

In a weird way I was fortunate, in that the stuff I was using was made by a chem major at my college who had swiped all of his equipment and ingredients from the university lab - it was almost pharmaceudical grade, not made with pesticides and photo developing chemicals. I think that spared me from the damage you see in the photos. I was also lucky that I got away from the meth scene just as Ice was begining to make itself known.

Most of all I was just damn lucky that I was able to simply stop taking it and walk away. I honestly don't know how I did it - the grace of God, perhaps? All I know is that other people around me just weren't that lucky. There's nothing sadder than hearing about yet another friend who has had a complete psychotic break after being up for two weeks straight. Meth can and will fuck you up - it's just a matter of time.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:49 PM on January 29, 2005

I apologize for the misattribution asparagirl. Let it not reflect on the rest of the post.
posted by mek at 3:12 AM on January 30, 2005

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