No need for speed: meth isn’t worth messing with

I didn’t think it was a big deal,” says Jose, now 17, of his first time trying crystal meth. When Jose was 13, a girlfriend offered him some, saying it would give him a good rush. He figured, why not–it would just be a one-time thing. “I’d smoked marijuana before, but I didn’t know how to deal with this high,” says Jose, from California. “I was tripping out, grinding my teeth, biting the inside of my mouth, shaking a lot.” But by the next weekend, he wanted to do it again.

Jose’s experience has become all too common. While the majority of teens still steer clear of drugs, among those 12 to 17, one in 33 say they’ve tried methamphetamines, according to a GFK Roper survey. However, that’s not the scariest statistic to come out of the study: 33 percent of teens say there is only slight or no risk in trying meth once or twice, something Jose now knows couldn’t be further from the truth.

Wasting Away

Methamphetamine (commonly called meth, speed, chalk, ice, crystal, and glass, see what does meth smell like) is a stimulant that can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected; it is intended to make users feel more awake and energized. Stronger than other stimulants, though, meth is highly addictive–one or two tries may be enough to get a person hooked. “It triggers the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that’s normally produced when we eat something good or listen to music we like,” explains Gayathri J. Dowling, deputy chief of science policy at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, Md.). However, meth floods the brain with dopamine, boosting the user’s mood to an unnatural high and making him or her want to use again and again.

But along with that high can come serious problems. Anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, rapid or irregular heartbeat, aggression or violence, and heat illness are just some of meth’s other effects.

After three years of using meth, Jose wasn’t eating or sleeping. At 5 feet 9 inches, he weighed just 100 pounds. A skeletal look isn’t the drug’s only effect on appearance. “Saliva drying up, tooth grinding, jaw clenching, poor oral hygiene, and the excess consumption of sugared, carbonated soft drinks all likely contribute to ‘meth mouth,'” Dowling says of dental problems that meth users tend to develop. “Some people develop the sensation of bugs crawling under their skin and start to pick at themselves, causing pockmarks.” Addicts may also experience visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and memory loss.

Collateral Damage

What may be worse than the physical effects of methamphetamine is the havoc it wreaks in abusers’ lives. “I was skipping school, getting into a lot of fights with my parents, stealing from them to buy the drug,” says Jose. “I didn’t want my friends around anymore. I just got high by myself, alone.” What started out as a way for Jose to have fun had turned into social suicide.

Meth may also drive users to the opposite extreme. “It can cause people to become almost obsessed with pursuing sexual activity,” says Dr. Jonathan Whitfield, medical director and psychiatrist at Phoenix House, a residential treatment facility in Los Angeles.

“Addiction silences the inhibitory control centers of the brain–the parts that stop you from doing things you know are bad for you,” adds Dowling. The result? People high on how long does meth stay in your system are more likely to have unprotected sex or even trade intercourse for more drugs, putting them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Coming Clean

The loss of inhibition is one reason recovering from meth addiction is especially difficult. “It’s almost like the drug gets up before you do and tells you you’re going to use today,” says Tim Chapman, director of Teensavers, a rehab facility in Orange County, Calif. Changes to the brain and personality are so profound that addicts often need 45 to 60 days after quitting to emerge from the haze. However, behavioral therapies can be effective, says Dowling. Combining one-on-one counseling with family involvement helps, as does offering people incentives for turning in clean urine tests. With the right treatment, methamphetamine addicts may have higher rates of recovery than alcoholics or marijuana users.

As for Jose, his emaciated appearance was what finally scared him into asking his morn for help. He relapsed once, which is common. But now, back in rehab, he has been sober for three months. “I’m happier now that I can deal with my own feelings instead of avoiding them with drugs,” he says. “I’m back at my normal weight, and I have the trust and respect of my family again.”

His advice to other teens about meth: “Don’t even start. You don’t want to know what it’s like.”

No One Is Immune to Addiction

“You’ll make the biggest mistake of your life when you try crystal meth … you’ll spend all the money you’ve worked so hard to earn, and you’ll get into massive credit card debt. You’ll lie to everyone around you, including your parents. And your life will spin completely out of control.”

Watch the nicotine!

A physician and public health school researcher is bemused with the government’s obsession with the sizes of the settlements in the tobacco industry’s various court cases. More important than money is empowering the US Food and Drug Admin with regulation of nicotine, the agent of addiction.

There has been great speculation in recent weeks about how much the tobacco industry will eventually have to pay as part of its landmark agreement with state and Federal governments. Originally pegged at over $350 billion, the sum was reduced by $50 billion by lobbyist sleight of hand during the final budget negotiations. When the industry ploy was discovered, Senators and Congressmen rushed to reverse themselves (by a vote of 95 to 3 in the Senate), restoring the $50 billion that had apparently been removed. Finally, in recent weeks the President and the White House have weighed in, after several months of reviewing the original agreement, suggesting that perhaps the original $350 billion payment level was not really enough but should be further increased. The sound and fury is building on all sides, most of it with dollar signs attached.

All this energy and shouting about money and the level of tobacco industry payments unfortunately obscures what is really most crucial in the whole deal: does hookah have nicotine?. While money is major–certainly to the families of those who have died of tobacco-related diseases and to the states whose taxpayers have had to pay the Medicaid bills for the poor who have died of these diseases–it is really peripheral to the most important issue of all: the Food and Drug Administration’s power to regulate the nicotine content of cigarettes. Without some insistence that the F.D.A. have unlimited authority to regulate the nicotine content of cigarettes, it won’t matter how much money the tobacco industry has to come up with. The money will be spent, everyone will go home, and the underlying problem of smoking will remain unchanged.

To understand why this is the case, consider the process of how people start smoking, why they continue once they have started, and what happens to them if they do continue. It has been well established that most long-term smokers (more than 85 percent) start before the age of 18, as much out of curiosity, bravado and brainwashing as anything else. Having begun, they become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes and to its effects. Once addicted, they find it difficult to stop smoking, even though the great majority of long-term smokers want to stop smoking and usually have tried to do so many times. As they continue to smoke for long periods of time, various other materials in cigarettes and smoke cause lung cancer, heart disease and other major illnesses and disabilities.

Put very simply, advertising brings them in, and nicotine keeps them there. Without nicotine in cigarettes, there would be no addiction. Without addiction, there would be no long-term smoking. Without long-term smoking, there would be less lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and the like. It’s all very simple, and the tobacco industry knows it. That’s why the tobacco industry is so anxious to have everyone concentrate on the financial aspects of the settlement, because they know that the money is trivial compared to the importance of our society’s ability to regulate the nicotine content of cigarettes.

Why hasn’t the Food and Drug Administration been able to regulate the nicotine content of cigarettes, just as it regulates virtually all other things that we eat, drink, receive as medication or otherwise allow to enter our bodies? The reason, again, is very simple: the tobacco industry was able to get cigarettes exempted years ago in a legislative move resembling the recent $50 billion gift to the tobacco industry. Nobody was watching, nobody cared enough, and as a result the public has been allowed to buy an addictive substance (not labelled or advertised as such) and has died of tobacco-related diseases at the rate of 500,000 persons per year.

The White House and Congress have a chance to correct this incredible mistake in the current discussions, and they must not be distracted by the large amounts on the table. The money is important, but the central issue in the whole settlement is F.D.A. control of the nicotine content in cigarettes. Without this authority, the whole tobacco industry settlement will miss the point and the opportunity of a lifetime–or better, of 500,000 lifetimes each year.

Mr. President, Members of Congress, take the money, but don’t run. Stay at the table until the Food and Drug Administration is given the authority it needs to regulate the addictive material in cigarettes: is nicotine bad for you. The money is important, but control of nicotine is life-saving!

Invicta watches review to get the excellent watch collections

The Invicta sport watches firm has long been one of the best and reputed time piece firm all around the world. This firm is based out of the Florida. Moreover all types of movements will be featured in their timepieces. Actually the Invicta watch Group had its roots in the Switzerland. This firm is established by the founder Raphael Picard in Switzerland. Since then this firm has launched a wide array of watch models and brands such as Activa, Potger-Pietri, Technica, Pastorelli, Cacciato & Joss, Brizo and S.Coifman. Moreover the invicta line of time pieces is still the oldest and also the most respected on the bunch.

Buy the best models of Invicta watch

This firm is always had the reputation for offering the highest quality watches. The Invicta watches are well known for their utmost quality. Most of the Invicta watches prices are ranging from one hundred to a few hundred dollars. These are always worth for the prices you pay. However this firm will produces thousands of watches, hence it is very difficult to find the best watch. Navigating an array of Invicta watches can be difficult, but I t is manageable and also true worth to get the perfect watcher for both men and women. The invicta watches review are very much aid purchasing the best and reliable models of watches. So you can visit the online websites that offers the reviews on the Invicta watches.

One of the common choicer of the Invicta time pieces are the Invicta Pro Diver series. This is the best series of the time pieces as familiar with divers know. One can get these particular types of watches in an array of materials and styles. You can also get this watch in this line in gold, silver and stainless steel.

Invicta Pro diver and Lupah

When you are planning to buy the Invicta Pro diver on the low end of price ranges but still for the best quality watches, you can search for the Invicta model number 8926. There are the fabulous watches with the stainless steel case and band, a mineral crystal watch face and automatic movement. Another wonderful time pieces in this price ranges are the Invicta Lupah Watch. These types of time pieces are very stylish and also the unique member of the Invicta watch product line. You can also check out the model number of 9814 Lupah. These types of time pieces are features the mineral watch face, stainless steel case and buckle class. You can also consider the attractive leather band and it will feature the Swiss quartz chronograph movements. These particular types of watches are very popular among both watch collectors and  also the average watch wearers.

If you go through any invicta watches review, you would get the feedbacks from the peoples as that this watch is very durable and reliable. All the Invicta time pieces are excellent and fantastic additions to any time piece collections. So this is best options for the persons who are looking for nice watch to wear on regular basis.