Drugs and alcohol play an important role in the increasing amount of violence we’re seeing on our streets today. Sadly, the use of drugs and alcohol by young people also continues to be on the increase. Now, police data shows that methamphetamine, a dangerous amphetamine, is on the rise in Australia.
Methamphetamine – more commonly known as “ice” – is an extremely addictive and powerful stimulant. Ice causes the brain to become flooded with dopamine, the feel good chemical. The initial euphoric high that users get makes them feel more energetic and alert and their appetite decreases. Most users find that they feel more confident and talkative. Unfortunately, these short-term effects quickly wear off as the user starts to experience the ‘come down’. This is when the darker side of the drug kicks in. During this phase, the user can feel paranoid, anxious, tired, weak and – often – violent.
Thanks to government prevention initiatives, many of us have seen pictures demonstrating the physical effects of ice. Users can end up losing their teeth, with sores covering their skin, and they often look old before their time. In fact, an ice addict can deteriorate rapidly almost right before your eyes.
But the impact ice has on people’s mental health is even more frightening. Scientists established a link between methamphetamine and psychosis years ago, but now new research from Australian scientists has revealed the strength of this connection: ice users are five times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms than non-users. Crime statistics show an undeniable link between methamphetamine use and violence.
With the growing use of methamphetamines in Australia, the need to educate our children about their physical and mental dangers is higher than ever. Simply relying on posters that confront them with the reality of drug use isn’t enough.