Menace: Methamphetamine in Rural Communities


Over 35 million persons worldwide regularly use or abuse methamphetamines (WHO, 2008). This statistic then puts methamphetamine as the second most common abused drug after cannabis. Methamphetamine addiction differs from other illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Drug addicts describe this drug as “one hit, one hook.” This defining characteristic of crystal methamphetamine is that addiction appears to occur upon first use. Methamphetamine use causes multiple anatomical defects in the brain and damages the frontal decision-making center. The action of the drug on the dopamine and serotonin-containing neurons creates false circuits. Even upon discontinuation of the drug, antipsychotic treatments are often required (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2006). The consequences of these illicit drugs can be the destruction of families, depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, cardiovascular events, sexual abuse, and child endangerment (Grant, Kelley, Agrawal, Meza, Meyer, & Romberger, 2007). DEA (2008) statistics report that 20 percent of the meth labs seized last year had children present on site. Children are even more vulnerable to the life time consequences of the toxins of methamphetamines on both pulmonary and neurological systems. Methamphetamines are at the epicenter of circles of addiction that cause health consequences throughout our global community.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).