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Methamphetamine use rises in the northeast

Recent reports found an alarming rise in the use of the highly addictive, dangerous synthetic drug, methamphetamine, between the years of 2013 and 2017.

Quest, a clinical laboratory, regularly used for employment drug testing, reported that positivity for meth in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey increased by 150 percent.

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, simply known as meth, is a synthetic drug that can be used illegally as a stimulant or legally (with a prescription) as a treatment for narcolepsy, ADHD and extreme weight-loss.

The drug is only available through a nonrefillable prescription under its classification as a Schedule II stimulant by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Dangers of using meth

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant affecting the nervous system. Because the pleasurable effects of abusing meth age gone quickly (within a few minutes), users often try to maintain the high by taking more of the drug. This can easily result in an overdose.

While short-term effects of the drug can be pleasurable, long-term effects include:

  • Psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive motor activity
  • Delirium
  • Panic
  • Rapid heartbeat or heart failure
  • Memory loss
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Severe dental issues
  • Addiction
  • Death

Pennsylvania penalties for abusing meth

According to Pennsylvania law, the illegal possession of meth can be punished on misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offense. However, depending on a number of factors surrounding the circumstances, penalties could be heightened.

Manufacturing methamphetamine can result in felony charges, punishable by at least two to fifteen years of jail time without probation, parole or work release, or a fine up to $250,000, or both.

Treatment and Drug Court

If you or a loved one are facing drug charges due to an addiction, a lawyer may be able to help you seek treatment through Drug Treatment Court. If you are eligible, Drug Treatment Court may substitute some of the penalties for the drug crime and break the cycle of addiction.

To discuss your legal options, contact a criminal defense attorney for help. A lawyer will explain your rights and can offer guidance and direction during this difficult time. 

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