A Journey Within and Beyond Methamphetamines
Meth (also known as methamphetamine or crystal meth), an incredibly addictive and destructive chemical, breaches, burrow a hole into, and hooks into the human body, mind, and spirit by attacking two fronts. Its qualities are truly captured in the image of a hungry ghost – methamphetamine’s appetite for devastation and expansion is endless.
On the one front, meth affects mood, inducing a euphoric, speeded-up experience of elevation, including a sense of personal omnipotence, as many stimulants do. On the other front, it artificially powers up experiences of heightened sensuality. By inorganically forcing the body to create overwhelmingly enjoyable, instantaneous, intense pleasure, the drug snags millions in its web, which continues to expand into and across our communities, to terrible effect.
Synthesized in Japanese and German labs at the end of the 1800s during the big world wars, meth was initially distributed in the military in Nazi Germany under the name Pervitin. Pervitin helped Luftwaffe pilots be particularly focused, psychopathic, and aggressive, better soldiers in Hitler’s genocidal agenda. However, even there, the drug’s detrimental effects became a cause for rolling it back due to severe addiction, psychosis, and violent behavior.
In its origins, meth had a genuinely anti-human intention and effect: to assist in genocide. Since that time, it was resurrected under a different name when revamped, marketed, and widely prescribed in the United States as a diet pill in the mid 20thcentury. Meth addiction due to dieting created a generation of brain-damaged, addicted Americans, leading to children born with the chemical in their system, who consequently had to undergo meth addiction withdrawal upon leaving the womb. Then, healing lasting neurological impacts lives.
Meth is still occasionally prescribed to treat obesity, despite universally known ill effects, including severe addiction, severe multiple health problems, and neurobiological devastation. Amazingly, a medically sanctioned version of it, Desoxyn, continues to this day to be prescribed to children tagged with the ADHD label to aid in “focus.” Meth is also produced and trafficked illegally, enjoying ever-rising popularity as the drug expands into communities that did not use to be associated with it.
Areas such as African American communities in inner cities, where crystal meth now competes with crack for the most sought-after substance’s title due to its intense, fast-acting high. Like crack, meth addiction is notoriously hard to kick, and at the same time, relatively cheap to produce, creating “lifetime customers” often after one use. To date, drug cartels operating in and outside of the US provide us with an abundant flow of the street versions of this chemical, known under different names and mixtures, including crystal, ice, speed, and crank.
In a way, via the epidemic spread of crystal meth as a street drug in the United States, combined with the continued use in some medical contexts, the substance is keeping true to its original genocidal design, effectively wiping out vast swaths of human spirit wherever it goes. Crystal meth appeals are sticky and easy to hook into because they create euphoria or intense feelings of feeling good, which emerges immediately upon ingestion. It also connects to sexuality, functioning as an aphrodisiac affecting libido.
Meth is widely used in some subcultures to prop up the sexual drive and sensual experiences through whipping arousal into a frenzied state, producing amplified sensations of sexual pleasure while exacting a breathtaking toll on the body and spirit of the person consenting to use the substance. Crystal meth is a chemical that “hits” the pleasure and reward system by design has multiple ways, including dopamine, like many addictive substances, and serotonin and norepinephrine.
Many users find themselves unable to override their pleasure centers and maintain their free will in the face of that multi-tiered, sophisticated onslaught of pleasurable experiences. Instead, more than a million and a half Americans and still more worldwide find themselves submitting control of their lives to this substance and the harmful spirit behind it. In return for exciting pleasure sensations, meth extracts a nasty toll from the body. Common symptoms of meth use include (but not limited to):
- Anorexia due to loss of appetite
- Meth mouth (infections and loss of teeth due to dry mouth and teeth grinding)
- Chronic headaches
- Cardiovascular issues
- Respiratory problems
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Skin problems
Meth use results in an exponentially increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, both from IV drug use (if needles are shared and IV is the administration route – meth can be injected, smoked, or snorted) risky sexual behavior caused by sexual disinhibition. The psychological wreckage wrought by meth use includes (but is not limited to):
- Chronic dysphoria (equal and opposite to that initial boost)
- Erosion of libido
- Disruption of alertness, ability to learn, and concentration
- Sleep pattern disturbances ranging from extreme fatigue to insomnia
- Excessive ego inflation alternating with deflation, violence, or suicidal feelings
- Obsessive, repetitive behavior
- Anxiety and depression
Meth is linked to Parkinson’s disease, as well, due to the neurotoxic impact on dopaminergic systems in the brain. Brain imaging studies of methamphetamine users indicate atrophy, or deterioration, in several key brain areas. The need for meth addiction treatment and the risk of overdose, while not as high as some, is still high and can result in death preceded by convulsions and coma. Withdrawals of meth addiction treatment are complicated to override, nearly impossible to get through without meth addiction treatment community support.
They include powerful drug craving, intense anxiety, profoundly negative mood, loss of motivation, sleep disturbances, and vivid nightmares. A substance that stimulates speedy, high feelings that mimic aliveness, adrenaline, and excitement, and at the same time amplifies sexual drive (which is ultimately about our sacred draw towards energetic union) is a real below-the-belt type of trickster. The spirit of needing meth addiction treatment appeals to our deepest wounds, temporarily creating those sensations many of us miss most in our disconnected, spiritually dead, and heartbroken lives.
The drug can be used to induce a nearly ecstatic state temporarily, generally reserved for spiritual union – during which we get to glimpse what it would be like to be fully awake, connected, and enlivened, exchanging energies with others in a divine merge. And yet it is an illusion – crystal meth’s simple design was to be destructive, to create pathways in the body and brain that house a psychotic spirit that wants to consume and will destroy us in the process if we do not wrest ourselves free.
The nature behind the spreading crystal meth epidemic is indeed a hungry ghost, never sated. In the words of Gabor Mate, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, “Addictions provide fleeting pleasure or gratification, but never leave you satisfied.” Certain synthetic or lab-manufactured drugs are so devastating to the human body, mind, and soul that it is a wonder that we, as a species, continue to want them to be manufactured.
Some effort has been made to curb, control, and at least stop colluding with the synthesis of illegal methamphetamines. For example, attempts have been made to outlaw the production and distribution of some of the chemicals needed to cook meth. But those efforts are undermined by pharma interests fighting any legislation that calls for chemical companies to stop production for fear of a loss of profit.
Simultaneously, some meth addiction treatment specialists, like Mate, argue for deregulation and unconditional treatment, curing users from within by working with the fragmented psyche through therapeutic approaches, with total compassion rather than criminalization. These attempts are equally resisted. Either way, it seems that although its severe addictiveness and destructive potential on our communities have been recognized, the allure of crystal meth for users and peddlers alike is still irresistible to us.
Integrative Meth Addiction Treatment for Women
Until a systemic solution becomes possible, the way for us to be freed, collectively, is for each of us, one by one, to do so. If you need help and are ready to seek meth addiction treatment, Villa Kali Ma is a place where you can free yourself of its destruction. In a meth addiction treatment environment of fierce, unconditional defense of your right to live free and govern your spirit, we will treat you, heal you, rehabilitate and repair you, and give you the support you will need to maintain your freedom from meth addiction, over time. Please know that you will be met with love and power, compassion, and forgiveness here in our meth addiction treatment community of healing and sobriety at Villa Kali Ma.