In 2001 as a Heath Professional at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney Australia I was introduced to and formed a relationship with crystal meth. However my relationship with crystal meth was in assisting, counselling, educating , planning & supporting not only the user of crystal but more importantly their family, friends and loved ones.
It is estimated that for every one person who has an addiction that it impacts at least five other people in their lives. This means that there are five times the number of people who sufferer from another’s addiction then those with the addiction itself.
Unfortunately these individuals have been overlooked, feeling; confused, angry, desperate and deeply frightened as their loved one slowly began to deteriorate in front of them and transforming into a person they no longer recognized, disliked and felt unsafe around.
One of first questions they would ask me was “what is this “new” drug that is destroying their lives?
Here is a summary on the history of Crystal Meth which may surprise you.
1) Kamikaze pilots were given methamphetamine before their suicide missions.
2) Methamphetamine is not a new drug, although it has become more powerful in recent years as techniques for its manufacture have evolved.
3) Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany and methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was developed in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection.
4) Methamphetamine went into wide use during World War II, when both sides used it to keep troops awake. High doses were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before their suicide missions. And after the war, methamphetamine abuse by injection reached epidemic proportions when supplies stored for military use became available to the Japanese public.
5) In the 1950s, methamphetamine was prescribed as a diet aid and to fight depression. Easily available, it was used as a nonmedical stimulant by college students, truck drivers and athletes and abuse of the drug spread.
6) This pattern changed markedly in the 1960s with the increased availability of injectable methamphetamine, worsening the abuse.
7) Then, in 1970, the US government made it illegal for most uses.
8) After that, American motorcycle gangs controlled most of the production and distribution of the drug. Most users at the time lived in rural communities and could not afford the more expensive cocaine.
9) In the 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations set up large laboratories in California. While these massive labs are able to generate fifty pounds of the substance in a single weekend, smaller private labs have sprung up in kitchens and apartments, earning the drug one of its names, “stove top.” From there it spread across the United States and into Europe, through the Czech Republic.
10) Today, most of the drug available in Asia is produced in Thailand, Myanmar and China.
My intention in sharing this article on my blog is to help educate, enlighten and share my knowledge to help the millions and millions of people who have been affected by someone they love who has suffered an addiction to crystal meth.
Joining forces on this issue will help support, comfort and guide us through a very challenging and widespread issue that is only getting worse.
These experiences taught me many lessons in my life. The one that stands out the most is that “we can only change ourselves” – so simply said yet so difficult to live by.
Please share any feedback, comments or questions you may have.