Crystal meth, or methamphetamine, has an interesting history behind its illegal use. Many people think meth is relatively new to the streets. But that is not true. Until the late 20th century, meth was used by medical professionals for a number of treatment options. The actual history of meth goes back to Japan in the early 1900s.

Early History of Meth

In 1885, a Japanese chemist working in Germany identified ephedrine as the active ingredient in the ephedra plant. Chinese medicine used natural ephedra plant extract for over 5000 years. In 1893, a Japanese chemist synthesized methamphetamine for the first time, as a man-made alternative to this natural drug. It took until 1919 for another Japanese chemist to develop a streamlined process for making meth. He created its well-known crystalline powder form, the foundation of crystal meth. The crystalline powder easily dissolves in water for easy injection. Meth experienced a boom of use in World War II. During this point in the history of meth, pilots on both the Axis and Allies’ sides used the drug for alertness. Kamikaze pilots used meth before their suicide missions. After the war, the addictive history of meth really began. Japanese citizens gained access to meth supplies stored by the military. This was meth’s first epidemic anywhere in the world. In 1950s America, doctors prescribed meth for weight loss and depression treatment. It was also taken as a nonmedical stimulant by students, commercial drivers, and athletes. This started America’s own addictive history with meth. The abuse grew worse during the 1960s when injectible meth became readily available on the streets to the public.

Modern American Meth History

After 1970 meth became illegal for most uses in the United States. The original black market for the drug fell under the American motorcycle gangs’ control, as an alternative to more expensive cocaine. Mexican drug cartels took over the manufacturing and trafficking of meth in the 1990s. They operated these labs in California, producing about 50 pounds over two to three days. Small home kitchen labs started producing their own supply for sale, making meth the “stovetop” drug it is today. Many people make meth in private homes across the country, as a sort of small business enterprise.

Treatment for Addiction to Meth

Palmetto Recovery Center in Rayville, Louisiana provides meth addiction treatment. This residential or intensive outpatient treatment includes the addiction therapy and relapse prevention education you need for lasting recovery. It also provides a variety of amenities helping you focus on wellness and inspire a fuller future in sobriety, with your best chance of avoiding meth relapse. We want our patients to be as comfortable as possible when battling their addiction. These amenities include:

At Palmetto Recovery Center your better life begins. Meth addiction claims the lives of hundreds of people every day. Do not let a loved one fall victim to meth addiction. Call Palmetto Recovery now at (866) 848-3001 for more information about available programs. Get the help they need today.