Methamphetamine is a drug that works by increasing the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain associated with reward, motivation, pleasure, and motor function. Increasing the level of dopamine in the brain causes users to feel a euphoric sensation.Unfortunately it is true what they say: what goes up must come down. Meth users continuously experience extreme lows after a meth-induced high. Repeatedly using the drug quickly creates addiction; a chronic psychological and physical need for the chemical.
Repeated use of methamphetamine causes anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood swings that can lead to violent behavior. Psychosis and paranoia are common side effects of usage along with the experience of hallucinating. Meth can physically change the chemical structure of a user’s brain. These changes can be reversed after drug use is stopped for more than one year. There is no safe amount when it comes to meth use. The effects are social, emotional, psychological, and physical.
Minnesota’s Meth Problem
Despite the severe and long-lasting effects of methamphetamine use, the drug is once again on the rise in the State of Minnesota. The availability of the drug combined with the high it provides users appears to be no match for the consequences it brings.
A full decade ago meth distribution was referred to as record-breaking. Last year authorities seized 226 pounds of meth. This was a 40 percent increase from the previous year and higher than the amount seized in more than 10 years prior.
Former director of the alcohol and drug abuse division at the state Department of Human Services, Carol Falkowski, said, “The levels we reached in 2005 were unprecedented. Now, here we are again 10 years later.” Law enforcement has warned that teens as young as 14 years old have been checked into drug rehab after using meth.
Brian Marquart is a statewide gang and drug coordinator with the Public Safety Department’s Office of Justice Program; he warns, “The users I’ve talked to say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever tried. They never imagined a drug would take absolute control of every aspect of their lives.”
In 2009 methamphetamine sold for about $22,000 per pound. In 2014 the amount of meth seized by law enforcement was 25 times higher than the amount of heroin seized. Coon Rapids police detective Matt Lund explained that this is partially due to the proximity of the dealers to the residents of Minnesota; “We can buy meth almost anywhere.” While drug trafficking into the state is partially to blame, many meth makers still develop the drug at home.
Detectives have found that a technique called shake-and-bake allows users to manufacture the drug with a two-liter plastic soda bottle. The technique is extremely dangerous and produces six times as much toxic waste as it does actual meth.
The penalties of using and distributing meth are as severe as the consequences that come with drug use. If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or distribution, you need an attorney. Contact Mankato’s skilled drug crimes lawyers today at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office.