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What are methamphetamines and why are they so dangerous?

Louisiana has seen its share of illegal drugs being manufactured, distributed and used. The most common are heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines. Although each drug is unique, all of them produce euphoric or ecstatic feelings in users, at least when first used. Because these drugs are also highly addictive, federal and state legislators have passed laws to punish people involved in their manufacture and distribution. Users are also vulnerable to drug charges. A previous blog post discussed heroin; this post discusses methamphetamines and their dangers.

Methamphetamines are commonly known as ice, chalk, crystal or meth. Their manufacturing requires the use of volatile and extremely dangerous chemicals. Most forms of methamphetamines are white, odorless and crystalline.

Users can inject, snort, smoke or dissolve the drug in water. When injected into the body, especially into the bloodstream, the drug travels almost instantly to the brain to produce an intense euphoric high. The euphoria does not last long, however, which is why many users end up taking the drug repeatedly as they try to recapture the first feelings of ecstatic pleasure. The common outcome is addiction. Meth can also be medically prescribed in small amounts to patients who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Unlike other prescription drugs, however, the prescription cannot be automatically refilled.

Under federal drug laws, meth is a Schedule II drug, which means it has considerable potential for abuse. Recreational use is illegal. Anyone who has been caught using methamphetamines is likely to face drug charges. Anyone who has been charged with such drug offenses should explore his or her legal options as soon as possible.

Defending such charges in court can be difficult without a strong criminal defense. Fortunately, certain legal professionals can handle drug charges in ways that increase the chances the charges will be dropped or reduced.

Source: Drugabuse.gov, "Drugfacts: methamphetamine," accessed on Jan. 19, 2015

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