Almost $200,000 worth of crystal meth was found in a cooler at a checkpoint in Laredo, Texas.
A driver was arrested for throwing crystal meth out of his car in Athens, Texas.
In Pecos County, a routine traffic stop turned into a drug bust when law enforcement found crystal meth among other drugs in a car.
A meth lab said to produce 440 pounds of crystal meth a day was shut down just over the border from Rio Grande Valley.
These stories are not out of the ordinary in Texas. In fact, these are just a few of the times that crystal meth use, abuse, and trafficking have made the news across the state in the past couple of weeks. With so much focus on opiate addiction, overdose, and death across the country, there is little attention paid to the havoc wreaked by use of other substances, particularly stimulant drugs.
In Texas, however, where most people living with an opiate addiction use black tar heroin, use of crystal meth is just as big of a problem. In some areas, it’s the primary drug of abuse.
What Is Crystal Meth?
Methamphetamine has been used for a number of purposes, both medicinal and recreational. Some have been prescribed medications that include methamphetamine for the purposes of losing weight, staying awake, or managing depression symptoms. It has even been reported that on both sides of World War II, soldiers were given methamphetamine to help them stay alert on the battle field.
Today, however, there are only very limited and specific circumstances in which someone might benefit from a legitimate prescription for a medication that contains methamphetamine. We now know that the drug is highly addictive and can cause a tolerance to build very quickly, triggering increasing use of the drug that can contribute to the development of the following:
- Malnutrition and unhealthy weight loss
- Organ function problems, including kidney failure
- Cardiac-related issues, including arrhythmia and heart attack
On the street, crystal meth is usually sold in small baggies. It looks like small white shards or powder, and it is most often smoked, snorted, or dissolved and then injected with a needle.
Meth Supply in Texas
Though some of the crystal meth sold on the street in Texas is made in local makeshift labs, the bulk of the country’s meth comes from across the border in Mexico. Cheap and easy to produce, the drug is routinely produced and smuggled across the border in liquid or powder form by drug cartels; these are some of the deadliest forms of the drug to strike throughout the country.
Another prolific source of crystal meth sold and used across the state is China. The country has long been shipping chemicals used in the production of meth into the United States and has been identified as the primary supplier of these chemicals to the drug cartels making meth bound for the US in Mexico.
What Crystal Meth Addiction Looks Like
Crystal meth is a stimulant drug that can create any combination of the following behaviors or symptoms in recreational users:
- Intense concentration and focus on a single task that lasts for hours
- Abnormal level of social interactions (e.g., extreme chattiness)
- Inability to sleep, sometimes for days
- Lack of appetite
- Picking at the skin
- Significant mood swings
Over time, the regular use of crystal meth can begin to significantly alter the way a person looks and behaves. Extreme weight loss, teeth damage, and pockmarked and scabby skin are just a few of the physical signs of long-term abuse of meth.
Behaviorally, many families report that their loved ones seem to turn into completely different people. A lack of sleep and good nutrition for months on end take a toll on their ability to process information and interact with people healthfully. Many find that their loved one becomes surly, paranoid, and difficult to talk to on any level. Others say that they seem to “lose their spark” and have no interest in any of the things that used to bring them joy.
Is Someone You Love Wrestling with a Crystal Meth Addiction?
The only good news about a crystal meth abuse or addiction disorder is that there are treatments and interventions that have proven to be effective in helping people to stop use of the drug and to stay sober. Is today the day you help your family begin their personal journey to healing?