Methamphetamine is a problem in many neighborhoods and cities in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse mentions that as much as 0.6% of the population reported using meth in 2017. The chances are good that this number has gone up significantly since then, as meth is such an easy drug to score.
The DEA has been systematically cracking down on the importation of meth. However, the cartels that control the trade have also been hard at work. One of their newest creations could exacerbate the problem of meth addiction and overdose in the US, eroding its social systems from the inside.
This new drug is more potent than meth, and although it shares a lot of chemical similarities, it can be more addictive and deadly.
Termed “Super Meth,” this new concoction comes from Mexico, run into the US by cartels that have long since dominated the drug trade. Super Meth has made its way across America and now presents a crisis for the DEA and other local enforcement agencies. But what makes it different from regular meth, and why is it so worrying for officials?
The Rise of Super Meth
Super Meth is the newest iteration of methamphetamine to make it onto the US markets. In many areas, meth labs used to be small operations with single labs that cooked the stuff up. Law enforcement could quickly locate and shut down those labs, taking tons of meth off the street.
However, this occurred before the Mexican cartels realized how easy it was to make meth and how simple it was to move. Super meth started taking over these local operations, putting them out of business because of its better quality and lower price.
The cartels are known for being demanding customers, especially in the drug business. They replaced these meth labs quickly, taking over new turf and putting people out of business or hiring them to work under the cartel’s organization.
Super Meth’s ease of transport and high quality made it the in-demand drug, pushing out other meth manufacturers. Those who didn’t join the cartel were put out of business one way or another.
What Is Super Meth?
Super Meth is a methamphetamine that has a unique construction. Also known as Ice or Crystal meth (or just crystal), this drug is far more potent than its predecessor. The manufacturers have found a way to create 97% meth consistently, then liquefy it to make it easier for transportation.
DEA officials have noted that they’ve discovered liquified meth in transit into the US from Mexico. Crystal meth is the methamphetamine version of choice in many inner-city areas because it’s cheap, easy to hide, and easy to use.
The meth epidemic may be traced back to the prescription pill problems that the US has struggled with. A significant number of meth users started with other drugs. When individuals dependent on these drugs lose their source, they seek out cheap alternatives. Meth is one such alternative, and it’s effortless to get on the streets.
Origins Of the Term
The term “Super Meth” seems like a strange choice. Law enforcement agencies first started referring to the drug as Super Meth when they discovered its potency compared with the regular meth that was already posing a problem. Super Meth’s content allows someone to get high off of a fraction of typical meth.
However, on the streets, some of the Super Meth is cut with fentanyl, which brings new risks to using this substance. When taking Super Meth, it’s possible to see an adverse reaction over the short term.
The potency of the drug means that users are more likely to get addicted to it. Because it “improves” on what meth does in every way, many people have taken to referring to the drug as Super Meth.
The Dangers of Super Meth
Ice brings with it several effects that exacerbate the experience of getting high for meth users. Typically, when someone takes meth, they quickly hit a point of euphoria. With Super Meth, the time they take to get there is reduced.
Since crystal meth is more potent than typical meth, the effects of consuming it can last longer and have a more substantial impact on the body. Because of its effects on a person’s body, they become addicted to the substance that much quicker as well.
When someone consumes meth, their brain starts rewiring itself to the new sensations. Each use takes more of the drug to get the same effect, a phenomenon known as tolerance. Over time, this tolerance grows into dependence – the body can’t function without meth in the bloodstream.
When a person’s actions to obtain the drug endangers themselves or their way of life, it’s known as addiction. Addiction is a brain disease where a person makes illogical or dangerous actions to obtain a substance, they are dependent on. Super meth has a higher potential for addiction than regular meth. Part of this is the feeling associated with crystal meth.
Does Super Meth Get You Higher Than Regular Meth?
Part of Super Meth’s draw is how it makes a user feel. Many users note that when they take Super Meth, the feeling they get is several orders of magnitude greater than regular meth. Crystal meth’s purity factor is partially the reason why this happens. Since Super Meth is purer and more potent than traditional meth, the feeling it induces is more intense.
However, since Super Meth can frequently be cut with fentanyl, it’s also possible that this high comes from the combination of both drugs. Super meth’s increased action on the human body is also why people get addicted to it so much quicker. But what ingredients make up Super Meth?
Ingredients In Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that has been produced for decades. At one point in time, it was considered a medical product. Much of the drug was manufactured in local operations that used available materials to “cook” the meth.
Most of the local production is based on collecting over-the-counter medicine. Because of its prevalence in making meth, federal authorities have instituted limitations on how much of a particular OTC drug a person can purchase at a time. In addition to these ingredients, meth also includes several others, such as:
- Benzene and gasoline
- Energy drinks
- Phosphorous (from matches, flares, etc.)
- Sulfuric/Hydrochloric acid (usually from drain cleaners)
- Toluene (brake fluid)
- Ammonia (from household cleaners)
- Acetone (nail polish remover)
Meth’s ingredients are relatively easy to source, aside from the painkillers. In Mexico, however, there are fewer restrictions on buying painkillers, making it a cheap and easy substance to cook up in a professional lab.
To make meth is a relatively simple four-part process that Mexican cartels have refined into a professional operation. Crystal meth’s production process is more involved than the typical kitchen counter method that preceded it. Many of the chemicals used are in their purest form, making the final product more refined.
Additionally, when performing this process in a kitchen, there was the potential for the “lab” to explode. For the production process, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine, is combined with ammonia or lithium. The combination is then dissolved in water. In the third stage, a solvent (usually gasoline) is added to the mixture.
The methamphetamine is formed, and the solution needs to be heated to crystallize the final product. The spread of Super Meth is partially due to this simple production process, easily performed in a lab under the supervision of professionals.
Cartels And the Collateral Damage of Meth Use
Cartels have long controlled the drug trade in the US, but their interest in Super Meth has changed the landscape of meth use. Thanks to the lowered price and higher quality of meth available on the streets, the US has seen a surge in meth addiction and overdoses.
Because the potency of the drug is so high, overdosing on it is a real threat. Leaving it behind is difficult but not impossible for those who become dependent and addicted to the substance. Residential drug treatment centers that deal with meth recovery typically hire mental health professionals as part of their staff. Meth’s long-term impacts can range from physical damage to cognitive impairment.
A Mounting Meth Overdose Crisis
Meth’s impact on society has led to more and more people overdosing on the drug. Since Super Meth came onto the scene, the amount of death due to overdoses have skyrocketed. If someone is addicted to the substance, it’s much easier for them to mistakenly overdose.
Since many users consume meth in private locations without anyone around to supervise them, there is no one to call emergency services if an overdose were to happen. Seeking meth addiction treatment in Los Angeles is the best way to avoid becoming another statistic.
Seeking Treatment for Meth Misuse
Meth misuse comes in many forms. If someone is taking meth as a means of escape and has become addicted to it, they should seek the help they need from an organization that can give it to them. The Discovery House comprises trained individuals who can deal with meth recovery, from detox to long-term treatment.
Breaking a methamphetamine habit is hard, but The Discovery House offers unique, tailor-made programs that focus on each individual’s recovery journey. Find substance abuse rehab programs that work for you. Talk to us today, and let’s plan how to help you escape the trap of meth addiction and dependency.