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The State Government of Utah recently published and made available for distribution a handbook that focuses specifically on methamphetamine (meth). This may have stemmed partly from the fact that out of 16,727 Utal residents recently surveyed, 3,195 of them admitted having used meth.

Methamphetamine in and of itself is not really all that new, although it may seem as though it has only recently "come on the scene". However, amphetamine drugs, from which methamphetamine ultimately evolved, have been around since 1887, when they were first synthesized (in other words, artificially produced, usually from mixing different substances together) in Germany.

From these beginnings, drugs with amphetamines in them actually became available, both in prescription and over-the-counter forms. Certain nasal sprays contained amphetamine, and Benzidrene and Dexidrene were two very popular prescription drugs. Further, amphetamine use was common during World War II, when it was given to soldiers to help them be able to stay alert longer, especially under battle conditions.

After the war, its use spread, mainly to long-distance truck drivers at first, but it was also very popular among the "hippie" culture. Amphetamines were sometimes referred to as "uppers", while sedative drugs were "downers."

As it became apparent that amphetamine had a high tendence for abuse and addiction, measures were taken to limit its availability. Over-the-counter drugs containing amphetamine were removed from the market, and prescription drugs became classified as controlled substances (the same as, for example, Oxycontin is). This is when the production of methamphetamine began to surge.

Like amphetamines, methamphetamine is a product of synthesis. Unlike amphetamines, however, it is not possible for the average person to have access to the safe ingredients that are used to make legal amphetamine drugs; therefore, those who wanted to continue using methamphetamine had to come up with their own "recipes". This led to the rise in clandestine meth "labs" in homes or other structures.

Like amphetamines, methamphetamine is addictive. However, unlike amphetamines, addiction to meth is usually instantaneous. In fact, some experts say that there is most likely no other drug, either legal or illicit, that can cause a more rapid descent into drug addiction that meth.

Drug addiction of any kind is dangerous. However, those who are addicted to meth need to seek treatment as soon as possible before the addiction worsens. For this reason, many drug addiction treatment centers in Utah have staff members who are well-trained in meth addiction and the unique problems associated with it.

Many of the treatment facilties offer medical care along with drug addiction treatment simply because meth can cause severe physical problems as well as the ones resulting from addiction. People with meth addiction may have skin problems that require careful attention to avoid becoming infected, and may be malnourished as a result of not eating properly while taking meth. Treatment centers with medical facilities or medical care can help with these problems as well as the drug addiction itself.

There are some who say that the psychological craving or addiction to meth never disappears, that those with a meth addiction will always remain addicted to some degree. This could very well be true for any drug addiction. However, proper treatment can help a person learn to function without giving into any addiction, no matter if it was caused by meth, alcohol, or anything else.

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