Methamphetamine or “meth” is a powerful central nervous system stimulant.
Abuse of this stimulant has increased exponentially over the years, leading to an increase in individuals cooking even making the drugs at home.
This fast-growing, illicit menace is addictive and labeled by the federal government as a Schedule II drug.
It has limited short-term medical uses, often through nonrefillable prescriptions and low doses, and a high potential for abuse.
The addictive qualities of meth can be strong enough to compel an individual to suffer such intense drug cravings that they begin to cook it in home-based meth labs.
But cooking meth is not always done to satisfy one individual’s drug cravings.
Many of those cooking meth are doing so to create their own supply and sell it to support their habit.
Methods for Cooking Methamphetamine
Some of the most common methods for cooking meth include using pots on the stove or in microwaves. One method, referred to as shake and bake, involves shaking bottles filled with the ingredients used to make meth.
This method is particularly dangerous. Its effects can be highly damaging, even fatal. And this is true for both the users and others in or near the meth lab. These makeshift labs are often built in secluded and remote areas like the forests found throughout the Midwestern states.
How Toxic is Meth Labs
Several household items can be used to make meth. One of the main ingredients, pseudoephedrine, is found in several previously over-the-counter medications in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Cooking meth requires large amounts of this ingredient. Noticing the alarmingly high quantities being purchased, pharmacies now limit the amounts any one individual can buy. Pseudoephedrine-based medications like Sudafed are now monitored and kept behind the counter instead.
Many of the other ingredients, including antifreeze, cat litter, and iodine, are easy to find and obtain, but they make meth highly toxic. Cooking meth creates exceedingly, hazardous effects. Many ingredients are highly flammable, with the potential of leaving strong odors lingering to cause damage in internal organs.
Producing it involves using hazardous, flammable, and corrosive substances. As such, the vapors produced can damage the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract of anyone in the vicinity. Meth labs have been known to catch fire or explode.
Side Effects of Exposure to Toxic Substances While Cooking Meth
The toxic ingredients involved in cooking meth are bad for both the human body and the environment. Some of the more common side effects include burns, dizziness, nausea, and skin and eye irritation.
The toxic runoff from meth production contains contaminants that are endangering the environment. Direct exposure to these contaminants can cause disfigurement or death.
This is one reason why we see meth lab workers wearing full-body or hazmat suits in the movies and on TV. Direct contact with the skin or inhalation into the lungs can be fatal.
The Effects of Secondhand Exposure
Dumping these pollutants into the ground through liquid waste and other damaging materials has exposed the earth and individuals in surrounding areas to radioactive chemicals.
The damage has spread as far as nature preserves and national parks. Meth labs remain dangerous for years even after someone shuts them down.
Some can be rigorously cleaned and repurposed, while others are determined to be permanently hazardous and marked for demolition. Even a short amount of time in one of these labs can be dangerous. Police officers responsible for meth drug busts have reported harsh headaches, nose bleeds, sores in their mouths, and trouble breathing.
Further, meth labs have been known to catch fire or explode, injure, and occasionally kill nearby individuals. Some who have survived meth lab explosions have sustained severe scarring and lost limbs.
Cooking Meth to Satisfy an Addiction
Many individuals who cook meth also use it. If you struggle to achieve feelings of pleasure or motivation on your own, the effects of meth may seem appealing. Many meth users do so to cope with the symptoms of undiagnosed or diagnosed mental health disorders.
With continued use, the original effects that meth produces will disappear quickly. This leads to many users increasing their intake either in amounts or in frequencies. Meth’s potent and addictive qualities make it easy to overdose.
And the intense withdrawal symptoms associated with meth make it easy to relapse. As of 2017, approximately 964,000 Americans had a methamphetamine disorder. If you are battling an addiction to meth, you are not alone, and help is available here.
Meth and Mental Health
Individuals who are long-term users of meth often experience side effects that impair their mental health. Anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behaviors are some of the most common.
Psychotic side effects are also possible, including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. Both current and former meth users may experience these psychotic symptoms. It causes severe structural and functional changes in certain parts of the brain.
Seeking and committing to addiction and mental health treatments can help end the addiction before it does any more damage.
Meth Addiction Treatment Options
If you are looking for a safe, comfortable, and supportive place to begin your journey to recovery, you have found it. Our facility is full of incredible amenities, dedicated teams, and supportive individuals who are facing the same battles.
Away from the noise, distractions, and temptations of New Jersey and New York City, there is peace and comfort in working toward sobriety. We offer a wide range of drug addiction treatment options here to meet a wide variety of addictions and needs.
High-level, customizable, and research-based addiction care is available in the following settings:
Inpatient treatment programs
Outpatient treatment programs
Intensive outpatient treatment programs
Partial care programs
Dual diagnosis programs
Drug Addiction Treatment Methods
Our behavioral therapies, holistic remedies, and support groups are three of the most important and effective recovery methods. These will be part of most of these treatment programs.
We will provide the knowledge, care, tools, and support necessary for effective recovery. With your dedicated effort to achieve long-term sobriety and health, recovery is possible. Whether you choose to live in our facility or visit each week, our comprehensive care programs will help you understand and overcome your addiction.
You will build important life and communication skills and employ methods for relapse prevention and stress management. We will work with you to choose the right program to address your unique addiction, needs, and health.
Insurance for Drug Addiction Treatments
Paying for drug addiction treatments is easier than it has ever been. If you have health insurance, your drug addiction treatments may be partially or fully covered. But it is not always easy to tell what is included in your coverage.
If you need assistance reviewing and verifying your insurance coverage, please call our addiction specialist. They will perform a free insurance verification to confirm your coverage. If you do not have insurance, they will also be happy to discuss alternative payment options.
North Jersey Recovery Center
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we believe in dedicated addiction care.
We believe in research-based, proven methods, customized programs, and a safe and comfortable space.
We understand that each person we meet is unique, and we treat you that way.
When you are ready to make a change, we are ready to help.