P2P Meth: The New Meth Epidemic

P2P Meth: The New Meth Epidemic

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Alexander Stuart is the CEO of Worlds Best Rehab Magazine™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Remedy Wellbeing Hotels & Retreats. Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing Hotels™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: International Wellness Hotel of the Year 2022 by International Rehabs. Because of his incredible work, the individual luxury hotel retreats are the world’s first $1 million-plus exclusive wellness centers providing an escape for individuals and families requiring absolute discretion such as Celebrities, Sportspeople, Executives, Royalty, Entrepreneurs and those subject to intense media scrutiny.

Authored by Helen Parson

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Michael Por

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Understanding P2P Meth

 

Since the start of the ‘war on drugs’ in the early 1970s, there has been a near constant portrayal of the negative impact of drugs. Whether focusing on the effects, or the criminality that surrounds their supply, the narrative has been unremitting. This creates the problem that, when new and more dangerous drugs appear, there are no superlatives left to use.

 

The result has been that the emergence of P2P meth over the last twenty years has not received the coverage and attention it deserved, despite the crippling effect it has on users.

 

Easy to manufacture on an industrial scale, often at low risk, it can flood the market with cheap — or even free — drugs that devastate users, leaving them with serious mental health issues and physically decaying while the drug exerts its hold.

 

What is P2P meth?

 

Meth, or methamphetamine, was first synthesized in the late nineteenth century. Like many drugs, it went through a period where it was used medically until the discovery of its addictive effects. Its stimulant effects, in particular, were used to help treat ailments, even as late as the 1950s it was used as a diet aid in the United States.

 

It was in the 1970s and 1980s that ‘street meth’ grew in popularity. Part of its success as a recreational drug was the ability to synthesize it using easily available medications. The best known was deriving it from the ephedrine contained in brands like Sudafed. This type of meth was known for the euphoric effect it produced, leaving users feeling energized, alert and sociable. It was also hard to produce on a large scale, limiting its spread and use.

 

However, as restrictions on the components began to limit those methods of manufacture, alternatives were sought. In the 1980s, labs started manufacturing meth using phenyl-2-propanone, or P2P, a method that took off in the late 1990s. What was not realized at the time was that it also created a new type of meth.

 

The new method had significant advantages for those making the drug. The compounds needed are used widely and legitimately in industry, making them hard to regulate, but easy to obtain in large quantities. P2P meth’s popularity among manufacturers appears to have been accelerated by the collapse in the market for cannabis as more and more jurisdictions legalized, or at least tolerated, its use.

 

P2P meth is a tempting alternative for the drug trade, who can replace their revenue and don’t even need to cultivate crops. Indeed, it can be manufactured so cheaply that it is often given away by dealers, a way to hook new clients for their trade.

 

The rise in meths has also come as the old, large drug cartels have been shut down. In their place, though, smaller networks have risen. Those in drug enforcement are now having to fight a battle against networks of loosely associated meth labs, brokers, traffickers, and dealers. Collectively they can manufacture and supply P2P meth on an industrial scale, but because there are so many pathways from the lab to the market, it’s almost impossible for law enforcement to stop the supply.

The new meth taste test

 

P2P meth has gradually supplanted ephedrine-based meth because of the ease of supply. Many users who were active while the transition was taking place did not immediately notice the difference. For them, the effects were largely unchanged, the euphoric high remained, for example.

 

The main immediate change was that P2P meth users tend to become more withdrawn and isolated, rather than the outgoing and chatty meth users of before. The longer-term effects, however, are far more profound.

 

Meth use has always been associated with decay. Ask most people, and their image is likely to include an emaciated, and likely homeless, user. This decay may be one of the reasons that meth use has attracted a different type of attention to those drugs that have what might be deemed a more socially acceptable user group.

 

For many old meth users, that decay may have taken years. Indeed, research into some of the mental health effects, such as paranoia and psychosis, linked them to the lack of sleep caused by the stimulant effects, and found they would quickly resolve when normal sleep habits resumed. Now, the decay begins almost immediately.

 

Those who work with meth users report that they noticed the change when they would see people with severe symptoms within hours of taking meth. And reformed meth users themselves all have stories of how their mental health rapidly declined and resulted in unusual and even dangerous behavior as they acted on their psychoses.

 

What remains unknown, however, is why the effect of P2P meth is so profoundly different. The active ingredients remain, fundamentally, the same, which is why many users did not notice the change in manufacture method. The best working theory is that it is caused by trace contaminants from the manufacture. While modern labs purify their product (and their processes are surprisingly, perhaps worryingly, good) traces of their industrial ingredients remain. But with so many labs operating, and the impossibility of accurately identifying a user’s historic supply, there is no way of tracing a precise cause: just that P2P meth can quickly destroy its users’ lives.

The visible impact of P2P meth

 

And the effects of P2P meth are easy to see. Skid rows in many American cities, especially those with better climates on the West coast, stretch on for city blocks, with many of the tents home to — and hiding — a meth user. Their makeshift tents are symbolic of the problem: each represents someone whose homelessness will be closely associated with their meth use, but also serve as a physical method of their isolation.

 

With treatment, recovery from meth addiction is possible. For those that beat their addiction, recovery usually means a rapid end to their mental health difficulties, although physical recovery can take longer. The tragedy is, perhaps, that the isolation P2P meth causes mean users do not engage, and outreach and drug workers cannot form the relationships they need to begin treatment. New meth, it seems, is not keen to ensure it is here to stay.

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Website | + posts

Alexander Stuart is the CEO of Worlds Best Rehab Magazine™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Remedy Wellbeing Hotels & Retreats. Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing Hotels™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: International Wellness Hotel of the Year 2022 by International Rehabs. Because of his incredible work, the individual luxury hotel retreats are the world’s first $1 million-plus exclusive wellness centers providing an escape for individuals and families requiring absolute discretion such as Celebrities, Sportspeople, Executives, Royalty, Entrepreneurs and those subject to intense media scrutiny.