The Rehabs.com website based in the United States has launched a new campaign against the use of methamphetamine (meth) using a series of shocking images portraying the physical damage caused by the drug to addicts over several years.
The website Rehabs.com has launched a new campaign against the use of meth entitled ‘The horrors of methamphetamine.” The new campaign pulls no punches, portraying how habitual use of meth causes progressive deterioration in users’ physical condition over several years. The site carries comparison photos of meth users taken during successive arrests for possession of the drug and other offences.
The Daily Mail refers to photos “that show a shocking Dorian Gray-like deterioration.” The idea for the sometimes gruesome photos, many showing accelerated aging, loss of teeth and quite startling physical changes, was the brainchild of an Oregon police officer in 2004 who had noted how meth users’ appearances deteriorated when comparing mug shots taken at the time of arrest. He decided to compile a series of pictures to raise awareness amongst youths of the deleterious effects of using the drug. The idea has also been taken up by the Fox 8 news channel.
Methamphetamine, which is estimated to have around 440,000 users in the United States, about 0.2% of the population, is an odourless, colourless and tasteless synthetic drug. Users’ favoured method of ingestion is by smoking it. Stronger than crack cocaine, methamphetamine is addictive in the extreme.
Speaking to 20minutes, an addiction specialist, Dr. Lawrence Karila said the drug caused, “accelerated aging of the skin, teeth loss and also heart, lung, and various infections." In addition, methamphetamine reduces appetite, causing severe weight loss amongst regular users of the drug.
Methamphetamine is also known to cause a ‘creepy crawly’ sensation of insects crawling under the skin. This in turn can cause users to develop severe skin lesions, the consequence of continual scratching as a result of the hallucinatory effects of the drug with users believing they are under siege from insects.
The Daily Mail reports that a recent video from Rehabs, which will be shown in U.S. schools, and the shocking pictorial follow a 2011 photo spread from the Oregon police, 'From Drugs to Mugs,' that shows the impact of all hard drugs including cocaine, heroin and meth.