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Study Shows Many Meth Users Also Smoke Marijuana

smokeA recent study shows a link between methamphetamine and marijuana, as many meth users also smoke pot.  In a two-year study on the use of both drugs, researchers discovered that those who combined meth with marijuana experienced more degeneration than those who smoked each drug by itself.

Nearly fifty percent of meth users also smoke marijuana.

Meth and Marijuana

Methamphetamine is a strong stimulant that creates euphoria, increases energy and concentration, lifts mood, and increases sexual desire.  Along with this, however, are side effects like paranoia, agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, and psychosis.

Marijuana is often used to combat the negative side effects of meth.  For example, smoking pot a few minutes after taking meth not only makes the high more intense, it calms the paranoia that is typical with a meth high.  It also prevents the loss of appetite that is also characteristic of methamphetamine.

While this all sounds very well and good, the truth is that both drugs cause irreparable damage to the brain and the body.  Marijuana is known to cause severe memory loss and cognitive problems later in life.  Meth produces rapid deterioration of the brain, skin, teeth and other organs.  Is it any wonder that the combination of both is like fire and gasoline?

Methamphetamine: One of the Most Toxic Drugs

It is a well-known fact among members of the anti-drug community that meth is one of the most addictive drugs and causes the most rapid decay.  A quick scan of Before and After photos of meth addicts is revelatory enough.  The synthetic drug is so toxic that the body begins to break down in many ways that are obvious within a few weeks to months.

For example, “meth mouth” is a characteristic feature of meth addicts.  The drug causes massive tooth decay, leaving the user’s mouth full of black, gaping holes and rotting gums.

Skin problems are another side effect of meth.  Not only does the skin become pock-marked from drug use, it is also the result of hallucinations that there are insects crawling under the skin, prompting the user to pick at his skin compulsively.  This hallucination is common among meth users and is known as “crank bugs”.

Meth users also become gaunt and frail very quickly.  This is due to the fact that meth causes bursts of energy while also suppressing the appetite.  It is also because of the drug’s toxic effect on the body.

In addition to the physical decay, meth also causes severe mental and emotional problems.  Users can experience anxiety, agitation, paranoia, extreme aggression, and even meth-induced psychosis. 

Marijuana as a Gateway Drug

The controversy over the legalization of marijuana is still going strong, but it does not eliminate the fact that marijuana is addictive and does lead to heavier drug use.  This is especially true in younger users.

Factually, teens who smoke pot are four times more likely to become addicted to meth than those who do not.

Drug Mixing

Mixing drugs is becoming more and more common, despite the dangers involved.  Not only does the use of more than one drug increase the risk of overdose and death, it makes it harder to treat addiction in the case of long-term mixing.

The goal of mixing drugs is either to create a more intense high (as in the case of heroin and cocaine, otherwise known as a speedball) or to neutralize the side effects of one drug.  Some users don’t even have a plan when mixing drugs—they simply take all the drugs offered at a party without considering the consequences.  In most cases, the consequences are overdose and death.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23909001

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/