I prosecuted a number of drug cases in my career and at some point, which I cannot pinpoint the exact time period, I noticed that defendants possessing and selling meth was on the rise. Also known as ‘ice,’ crystal meth is a schedule II violation. A conviction on simple possession could land you a prison term of fifteen years.
The contentious part of the case is arguing the correctness of the search and seizure. Search warrant cases involve going after dealers. ‘User’ cases more likely involve defendants standing on the street corner engaging in some suspicious behavior before getting nabbed by police. Getting a favorable ruling on a motion to suppress is an incentive for defendants to plead guilty. For users, defense attorneys typically asked that drug rehab be a part of the sentence, which I was always happy to do. I’m not a social worker or a drug addiction specialist so a plea ended my relationship with that defendant.
I had a renewed interest in meth when I came across a collection of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs that showed the devastating effects the drug can have on its users. I was stunned at how the drug ravishes the body and how quickly.
Abusers usually smoke the substance but it can also be snorted or injected. It is a powerful, addictive man-made stimulant that can lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence.
Abusers prefer meth because of its intense sense of euphoria. Its effects are similar to those of cocaine but lasts longer.
So what are the damaging effects of crystal meth?
Short term effects include suppressed appetite, difficulty sleeping, mood swings and unpredictability, tremors and convulsions, increased blood pressure and irregular heart rate. It may cause erratic, violent behavior. Users may also experience homicidal or suicidal thoughts, prolonged anxiety, paranoia and insomnia.
Long-term effects include brain damage similar to the effects of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, coma, stroke or death. Signs of chronic use include weight loss, tooth decay and cracked teeth known as “Meth Mouth,” psychosis and hallucinations, sores on the body from picking at skin, and formication, an abnormal skin sensation akin to “bugs crawling on skin.”
(Source: The Partnership Drug Free) (Photo Credit: examiner.com)
If you know someone suffering from addiction to this drug, click on the links below for help: