Drugs and Brain Damage Become Big Problem in New York
As methamphetamine use begins to skyrocket in New York, US Senator Charles E. Schumer was joined by the Special Agent in Charge of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) New York Field Division, Anthony P. Placido, at DEA headquarters today to unveil a new plan to nip the problem in the bud and prevent a repeat of 1980s-era mistakes that missed the early warning signs of the crack epidemic. Schumer's plan would sharply increase penalties for dealing the drug to make them equivalent to crack, close a loophole crystal meth makers exploit to purchase the key raw ingredient for the drug in bulk, and get New York millions of dollars in Federal funds for crystal meth education, prevention, and treatment.
"It's 1984 all over again," Schumer said, noting that was the year just before the crack epidemic exploded in New York City. "Twenty years ago, crack was headed east across the United States like a Mack Truck out of control, and it slammed New York hard because we just didn't see the warning signs. Well, the headlights are glaring bright off in the distance again, this time with meth. We are still paying the price of missing the warning signs back then, and if we don't remember our history we will be doomed to repeat it, because crustal meth could become the new crack." The drug methamphetamine is a highly addictive and easy-to-obtain synthetic central nervous system stimulant that is currently classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. It is widely abused throughout the United States and is distributed under many street names, including "crystal meth", "crank", "meth", "crystal", "tina", "crissy" and "speed." It is commonly sold in white powder form that dissolves in water, but has been distributed in colorful tablets or as crystals and sold as "glass" or "ice." Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, injected or taken orally or anally.
Meth pumps dopamine into the brain to increase stamina, decrease inhibitions and give a high that can last for days. Unlike the rush associated with crack cocaine which lasts for approximately 2 to 5 minutes, the methamphetamine rush can continue for 5 to 30 minutes and is followed by a period of binging when the user continues to smoke or inject the drug for 3 to 15 days. After a period of "tweaking" when nothing the user does will take away the feeling of emptiness addicts crash for 1 to 3 days because their body's adrenaline has been completely depleted, and the body uses the crash to replenish its supply. Meth is psychologically addictive, and users become paranoid and unpredictable. Meth causes extreme fatigue in the long term, loss of appetite, psychotic behavior and brain damage similar to Alzheimer's disease.