Should You Be Afraid Of Super Meth?
For the past few years, the opioid epidemic has been getting all the publicity, as the nation witnessed a surge in overdoses on prescription opioids, followed by heroin overdoses, followed by accidental overdoses on a variety of drugs adulterated with fentanyl unbeknownst to the people consuming them. Meanwhile, stimulants such as methamphetamine are still plenty capable of causing overdoses, even when they are not laced with fentanyl. In fact, methamphetamine overdose deaths have been on the rise in the Philadelphia area since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, methamphetamine has not regularly made news headlines since the original run of Breaking Bad. If you are facing criminal charges for possession, manufacture, or distribution of methamphetamine or other illegal drugs, contact a Pittsburgh drug crime lawyer.
Amphetamines: A Good Drug Gone Bad
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant; as such, it enables users to stay awake and alert for long periods of time, and it suppresses appetite. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a very high potential for misuse, but it is legal for medical use in certain circumstances. For purposes of comparison, cocaine and fentanyl are also Schedule II controlled substances, but Schedule I controlled substances include heroin and, of all things, cannabis.
The legally accepted medical uses of methamphetamine include treatment of obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it is not a first line treatment for either condition. In previous decades, amphetamines, though not necessarily meth, were widely prescribed as weight loss drugs and to help people stay alert, but as the dangers of amphetamine became known and safer drugs became available, its medical use became less common.
In the News
A decade ago, criminal cases involving methamphetamine tended to center on meth labs where people synthesized amphetamine out of over-the-counter medications and ordinary household products; traffic stops where people had harmless items such as spoons or cleaning chemicals often led to drug paraphernalia charges. The sale of cold medicines that could be used as precursors to meth became much more heavily restricted. In recent years, however, methamphetamine produced in Mexico has become increasingly prevalent, and in some places, it is more common than locally produced meth. The new meth is approximately three times as pure as the meth that most users are accustomed to, thus increasing the risk of accidental overdose. According to Barry Logan of NMS labs, between 60 and 100 people have died from meth overdoses in Pennsylvania every month since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Likewise, an increasing number of drug trafficking cases related to methamphetamine have involved large, international networks of trafficking, instead of drug busts centering on a lone meth lab in someone’s kitchen or vehicle.
Contact Gary E. Gerson About Drug Crimes Defense Cases
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of drug crimes, such as possession or manufacture of methamphetamine. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.