Persuasive Essay On Meth

Methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug that is devastating to families, the individual and the community as a whole and should be avoided by all costs.

Response sought:

To convince the audience that methamphetamines is a serious threat to our families, communities and the users themselves.

Attention catching remarks: Let me tell you Joe‘s story. Joe was your typical teenager. He lived in the suburbs of Seattle, played sports and was popular with all of his peers. Joes family was active in the community and supported Joe in whatever he choose to do. He was a gifted athlete and was in line to go to college on scholarships for wrestling and possibly baseball as well. Everything looked good for Joe until the day he decided to use methamphetamines.

Purpose Statement: In the next several minutes I will be explaining why meth is so terrible and why you should all do whatever you can to help others avoid this drug. I will be going over the chemical makeup of methamphetamines, it’s production, the environmental implications, the physical effects on the methamphetamine user and the devastating effects on the community as a whole.


Having gone over the main points of this speech lets now begin the discussion by going over the chemical makeup of methamphetamines.


I. Methamphetamines otherwise known as meth, crank, or crystal is a drug with many chemicals that make up its composition.

A. Methamphetamines is made up of over 32 different chemicals.

B. These chemicals are derived from some pretty common sources.

1. Gasoline, Rubbing alcohol, Starting fluid, Paint thinner, Camp stove fuel, White gasoline, Epsom salt, Match heads , Break cleaner, Red devil lye, Drain cleaner, Battery acid, Lithium from batteries and iodine crystals.

2. The majority of these chemicals carry warning labels that warn against ingestion with a possible consequence of death yet combined they make a drug that creates craving and a euphoric feeling.

Now that we have looked at the chemicals that makeup methamphetamines lets look at how methamphetamine is produced.

II. The production of methamphetamines is a major problem.

A. The ease in the manufacturing of methamphetamine is a major contributing factor to the increase in its use.3

B. Law enforcement officials identify and close hundreds of clandestine labs a year.3

C. Mexico and California are some of the largest producers of methamphetamines.3

1. Outside of these areas, small rural labs are more common.3

2. Rural areas are popular sites for production because strong odors are produced from its manufacturing can be hidden so well.3

D. Mobile labs have begun to appear in a number of states making seizures more complicated.

E. The manufacture of methamphetamines is simple because it does not require agriculture, specialized equipment, or advanced technical training.3

1. It is easily cooked up by anyone in a makeshift lab, hotel room, Mobil home or warehouse.

2. Most of the equipment that is necessary can be bought over the counter or stolen from high school and college labs.

F. Methamphetamine hydrochloride is easily produced using ephedrine, hydroiodic acid or over the counter pseudo ephedrine found in cold medication.3

1. Hydroidic acid is necessary in one of the major manufacturing processes.

2. Although strictly controlled it can be easily created using red phosphorous and iodine crystals, chemicals that are not regulated.

G. The key ingredient to meth is ephedrine, a controlled substance.

1. Because its difficult to obtain cooks use pseudo ephedrine, found in many over the counter medicines.3

2. These medicines are processed to remove buffers and produce ephedrine.3

H. Cash purchases of large quantities of red phosphorous and iodine are made by cooks in order to produce meth.

1. No federal regulations or quantity limitations control the sale of these chemicals making it hard for the DEA to track their possesion.3

2. Most cooks know this and they stockpile these chemicals just in case they are ever regulated.

I. Legal access to an abundant supply of chemical precursors in Mexico makes it a major producer of meth.

1. Organized crime in Mexico run major production and distribution rings.

2. They have access to wholesale ephedrine sources and supply on the international market.

3. They produce massive quantities and funnel it into the United states via established mule routs.

So that’s some information on the manufacturing of meth. Now how about we take a look at the Devastating environmental impact of methamphetamine.

III. The environmental impact of methamphetamine production is a problem in many ways.

A. For every one pound of meth six pounds of toxic waste is produced that has to be dumped somewhere.

1. Dumping in rural areas has left live stock of farmers and ranchers contaminated and in some cases dead.

2. 26,000 acres of Tahoma state forest were closed because of the manufacturing and waste from methamphetamines, many of its trees found dead from chemical fumes.4

3. In Washington state several forestry service workers were hospitalized when they were exposed to toxins from a meth dump.4

4. Waste dumped in streams and lakes have actually been shown to contaminate human and animal water supplies.4

5. Waste can contaminate soil for years after the initial dumping.4

6. Dump sites along highways pose a major risk for people who volunteer their time to do cleanup.4

7. Fumes in the walls, carpet and heating ducts can cause cancer, brain damage, and immune system complications.4

B. Chemical contamination and exposure can be quite severe if a person is in the environment where meth is produced..

1. Exposure to the toxins in methamphetamines comes in several forms, toxic fumes, vapors, and spills.5

2. Contamination can come from absorption of toxic chemicals from contact with contaminated surfaces, clothing, or food.5

3. Exposure to low levels of some meth ingredients may produce headache, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.5

4. Exposure to high levels can produce shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, lack of coordination, eye and tissue irritation, chemical burns and death.5

5. Chronic exposure to chemicals typically used in meth may cause cancer, damage the brain, liver and kidney, spleen and immune system.5

6. Normal cleaning will not remove the chemicals used to produce meth.5

7. Chemicals may remain on cooking and eating utensils, floors, countertops, and absorbent materials.5

C. Now Imagine this.

1. You are sitting on the edge of a stream on a summer day fishing.

2. Your kids are playing in the water having a water fight.

3. there is a soft breeze coming from up stream and you smell a faint chemical odor, you briefly contemplate its origin and continue fishing.

4. A quarter of a mile up stream a man wearing a respirator and a pair of rubber gloves dumps several buckets of chemicals into the stream.

5. Several hours go by and your kids begin to complain that their skin is irritated, you brush it off as a sun burn and continue gutting the fish.

Now that we have heard about the environmental implications of meth production lets see how meth effects the meth user.

IV. Methamphetamines has a devastating effect on the user.

A. Methamphetamines has been said to be more addictive than crack and heroine.

1. The physical affects of the drug are so exhilarating at first that their consequences can be lost in the thrill of the rush.

2. Even after close friends and family members plea with the user to stop it is often very difficult or impossible to persuade them to stop using.

3. Meth releases a surge of dopamine causing an intense rush of pleasure or prolonged sense of euphoria.6

4. Many addicts describe an intense rush of pleasure that lasts for several minutes followed by a euphoric high that lasts for between 6 to 12 hours.6

5. In lab experiments done on animals sex causes dopamine levels to jump from 100 to 200 units, cocaine causes them to spike to 350 units with methamphetamines the jump is from the base number of 100 to 1250 units.6

B. Meth effects the brain as well.

1. When drug addicts use meth over and over again the drug actually changes their brain chemistry destroying the wiring in the brains pleasure centers and making it increasingly impossible to experience any pleasure at all outside of the continued use of meth.6

2. Although studies have shown that these tissues can re grow over time the process can take time and the repair may never be complete.6

3. Addicts may never show improvement in cognitive abilities damaged by the drug.6

4. Addicts have also shown severe impairment in memory, judgment, and motor coordination similar to symptoms seen in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease.6

5. These changes in brain chemistry can lead to disturbing, even violent behavior.6

6. Meth like all stimulants causes the brain to release high doses of adrenalin, the body’s fight or flight mechanism, inducing anxiety, wakefulness and intensely focused attention called tweaking.6

7. Heavy chronic using can also prompt psychotic behavior such as paranoia, aggression, hallucinations and delusions.

C. There are visible signs of meth use as well.

1. Because meth causes blood vessels to constrict it cuts off steady flow of blood to body parts leaving them with an ashen appearance.

2. Heavy usage can damage blood vessels causing tissues to become prone to damage and inhibiting the bodies ability to repair itself.

3. Acne appears, sores take longer to repair, and skin looses its luster and elasticity.

4. Some users are covered in sores as a result of obsessively picking themselves because of hallucinations of bugs crawling beneath their skin.

5. Meth creates a massive burst of energy and a suppression of appetite leaving them thin and underweight.

6. From their week long binges and poor hygiene addicts often have mouths full of broken and discolored teeth called meth mouth.6 Transition:
Now that we have seen the devastation to the user of meth lets now have a look at the toll on our communities.

V. Methamphetamine has a devastating effect on the community.

A. The criminal impact of meth touches many people.

1. Meth production and use has been tied to numerous murders and other violent acts, here are some examples.

a. Lincoln, Illinois- September 2002. Jason Daniels murdered Brian Bobb while the two were manufacturing methamphetamines in a secluded area of a local park. Daniels admitted in a videotaped interview that he slashed Bobb’s throat and pleaded guilty to murder.

b. Palau- December 2003. Two men high on meth robbed a house occupied by the Depavia family. In the process of the robbery they murdered the husband the wife and son. They also kidnapped and sexually assaulted the 10 year old daughter, the only member of the family to survive.

c. Newark, New Jersey- January 2004. A couple kidnapped and tortured an individual who had stolen $125.00 worth of meth from them. The torture was committed with a hammer, needle nosed pliers, a paint roller extension and a sword.

2. Crimes in Montana are at an all time high.

a. Meth related crime in Montana is 429% higher than meth related crime nation wide.

b. Violent crimes increased by 37% in Montana between 1999 and 2000 with aggravated assault showing the largest increase. Law enforcement officers attribute the increase to violence committed under the influence of methamphetamines.

c. 97.3% of state and local law enforcement agencies in Montana report meth is the illicit drug that contributes most to violent crime in their areas.

d. 50% of Montana’s adult inmates are incarcerated due to meth related crimes.

1. The cost to the state per inmate is between $18,000 and $29,000 a year.

2. The department of corrections spends approximately 85 million a year for adult security custody.

3. Impact on health care.

a. There are more emergency room visits involving meth than any other drug.

b. 56% of hospitals have had to raise costs due to the rising number of of meth related emergency room patients of which 83% are uninsured.

c. 20% of patients in treatment are their for meth use costing the state $10,000,000 per year.

4. Now for the children.

a. 52% of children in foster care are there due to meth related abuses costing the state $12,000,000 per year.

b. cascade county actually estimates that between 80% and 90% of their foster care kids are their due to meth related crimes.

c. Children are generally the most effected people in this epidemic.

1. They are sometimes so traumatized from the abuse of their parents that it takes them years to heal from it.

2. Their has been many instances where the child has been given a blood test and they actually had meth in their systems from their parents use and being around the substance.10 Conclusion:
Summery: As you can see meth is a very damaging drug. I have told you about the chemical makeup, environmental implications, the physical effect on the user and the effects on the community. I plead with everyone of you never to use this drug and to do whatever you can to help your loved ones to avoid it as well.

Clincher: So getting back to Joe. After he was introduced to meth his life began to go down hill dramatically and within a year he was living in and out of treatment centers and group homes in Seattle. He had gone from a good student, son and friend to a person totally controlled by meth. Within four years he found himself incarcerated in Montana state prison for meth possession charges instead of in college. All of his dreams and aspirations put on hold and passed by because of one decision. When they say not even once they are telling the truth. After just one use he found himself in the grip of a compulsion far stronger than his desire to succeed in life. Joe’s story is not unique, there are thousands of others who have lost their will to live life and are controlled by a drug that destroys families, self respect and damages the community as a whole.


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7. http:/ 8. Alcohol tobacco and other drug control task force, Executive summary,2002 9. Montana attorney general office, Methamphetamine in Montana, 2007 10. Cascade county family services advisory council minutes, February 10, 2006

Meth And Its Effects On The Brain

Methamphetamine is an odourless, white crystalline powder with a bitter taste. It is soluble in liquid and can be injected, snorted, ingested, or smoked. It is a central nervous system stimulant drug that increases the release of dopamine and leads to high levels of the chemical in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for the pleasure functions of the brain that relate to reward, motivation, the experience of pleasure, and motor function. The production of excessive dopamine causes an intense rush of pleasure followed by a euphoric high that can last up to twelve hours.

The abuse of methamphetamine is associated with a number of negative consequences, which include cognitive dysfunctions and neurological damage. Effects of chronic abuse are depression, psychosis and psycho-motor dysfunctions. Neuropsychological abnormalities include attention deficits, memory problems and poor decision-making.

The use of methamphetamine is associated with long-term biochemical and structural effects on the brain and significantly changes how the brain functions. The excessive production of dopamine causes neuropathological changes in the brain and has a neurotoxic effect on the brain cells that store dopamine and serotonin. These changes include decreases in the levels of dopamine transporters as well as decreases in the density of serotonin transporters in various parts of the brain. Studies have demonstrated that daily use of methamphetamine results in increased cell death in the brain, which would have a negative effect on prefrontal cortex functioning.

Changes in the activity of the dopamine system are associated with reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning. Studies have also revealed that chronic use of methamphetamine causes severe structural and functional changes in those areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which could explain many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic abusers of the substance. These neurological changes have given rise to deficits in execution memory which are manifested in a reduced ability to problem solve, increased impulsivity and risky decision-making. Further dysfunctions include apathy, poor self-control and poor executive control. Over time, methamphetamine destroys the dopamine receptors in the brain, which has the effect of reducing the ability to feel pleasure.

The use of methamphetamine has been proven by a number of studies to be associated with irreversible damage to the brain and, even though the neurotransmitters in the brain may recover over time, damage to cognitive abilities cannot be reversed.

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