Domestic violence and substance abuse reached new depths with the availability of crystal methamphetamine as the new leisure drug of the masses. Going by various street names such as speed, crank, glass, and ice, this demon drug knows no race, creed, or status and is all pervasive in its abuse. Unlike marijuana or cocaine that requires to be harvested and then processed to reach the target market, meth may be synthesized in make-shift labs in the basement or the garage with ingredients available in the neighborhood supermarkets.
In addition to this it is also smuggled across the borders by the powerful drug cartels for whom, this is million dollar business. What this means is that it is easily available to any man, woman and child who wants it, and therefore its implications in the domestic sphere are alarming.
The three patterns included in meth abuse are the low intensity and the high intensity with the binge level in between. The first is when the drug is snorted or swallowed for that extra perk that sees you through a busy day at work and try to keep up with demanding housework. Most people doing more than one shift, or working overtime, multitasking as a matter of routine all resort to meth as a method to keep up. Binge users smoke or inject the drug to experience the euphoric rush that is supposed to be out of this world and are highly addictive.
This can bring about a high that can last up to 16 hours, during which the abuser feels invincible and is therefore terribly aggressive. The abuser continues the drug intake in an effort to maintain the high, which however, is never as effective as the first and eventually becomes non-existent.
By now the addict is totally addicted, but with no accompanying highs, but rather the opposite. This is the dangerous tweaking period when the addict is flooded with absolutely hopeless despairs and the mother of all depressions take over. Now alcohol and heroin may be consumed in a bid to get over this black period.
Then comes the crash where the abuser goes into an almost lifeless state for anything up to 3 days. The only way to get out of this black hole of despair is more meth, and that is why 93% of those in rehab return to the drug. This leads to the high intensity user whose only aim is to avoid the crash and retain the elusive high.
A meth addict in the tweaking phase is a muddled mass of frustration, aggression, hallucination, and irrationality. They are highly suspicious and paranoid. If drunk it adds to the recklessness which leads to unprovoked attacks, and other criminal acts.
Domestic violence incidences can reach new levels at the hands of a meth addict. The effects of the drug are not limited to the user but spills over to include each and every member of the family.
Social service agencies have revealed how out-of-home placements of children have become increased due to meth addiction in care-givers. Thousands of children are abused and neglected. The National Conference of State Legislatures found the distressing fact that about 10 percent of meth users were introduced to the drug by their parents or close relatives. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that in 20 percent of drug busts made last year, children were present. Domestic violence statistics have begun to look at the implications of meth abuse in their compilations.
Meth is also the drug of choice for women who choose this lifestyle. Besides helping to keep up with the multi-tasking required of a working mother, it is also known to assist with weight reduction. A startling fact reported by a federal survey of all people arrested for crimes reveals that over 11 percent of women had used meth, as opposed to 4.7 percent of men. What starts as a low intensity use and a harmless pastime can quickly slip into the danger zone. Both domestic violence victims as well as abusers can be meth addicts. This puts the lives of innocent children at great risks according to police reports.
While you feel you have control and can stop whenever you choose to, thousands of testimonies from devastated addicts state the opposite. The power of the addiction is such that it takes over without the addict being conscious of it. This brings out the paranoia, the uncontrollable anger and rage, and the frustration of knowing that your life is no longer in your hands, but in that little piece of white, odorless, bitter tasting chemical which now has total control over you and through you, your family.