It has been decades since the “Just Say No” campaign, but drug use continues to be a serious issue in our communities. Our San Francisco injury lawyer knows that drugs don’t only impact the user but can also create dangers for those who never take anything stronger than a Tylenol. The danger of harm to innocent bystanders is particularly strong in the case of methamphetamine (aka “meth”). Meth use can lead to impairment-related accidents and the volatile process of meth manufacture can lead to innocent San Francisco fire victims.
Methamphetamine is a synthetically manufactured drug that impacts a user’s central nervous system. Meth does have some limited medical uses, but most meth is manufactured for and consumed by recreational drug users. The drug can be consumed in many ways including orally, intravenously (i.e. by injection), by smoking, and by snorting. Even in small doses, meth acts as a stimulant and can lead to rapid or irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and increased respiration rates. High doses of the drug can cause stroke, heart attack, convulsions, and even death. Meth also causes psychological changes which can include anxiety, euphoria, aggression, hallucination, delusions of power, a feeling of invincibility, paranoia, and obsessive behaviors. Long-term users may experience dangerous weight loss, heart disease, dental decay, memory loss, reduced mental functioning, violent tendencies, and symptoms akin to schizophrenia. Depression and suicide are also common among users. Withdrawal can be very difficult and can also cause significant physical and mental suffering.
The production of meth is dangerous in itself. “Shake and bake” style meth labs use a very volatile process that can result in an explosion if even a minor error in measurement or handling occurs. Meth labs have become a significant cause of fires that can destroy property and cause severe burns impacting not only those involved in the manufacture but also innocent victims who happened to be in close proximity to a meth lab, such as inhabitants of a neighboring apartment. Mobile meth labs can lead to vehicle explosions and traffic accidents.
Like with many other drugs, meth can also impair a user’s ability to drive and can led to dangerous traffic accidents. Reports indicate that meth use among truckers has been an issue since the 1970s, with drivers using the drug to try and log longer hours behind the wheel. Both active meth use and the process of coming down after use can cause accidents by hampering vision, impairing decision-making, and reducing motor skills.
Drug use remains a serious concern for our society. Users can destroy their health and mental functioning. Meth use and production can also harm innocent bystanders. If you or someone you love has suffered physical harm or economic loss due to someone else’s use or manufacture of methamphetamine, please contact our San Francisco victim’s attorney. Gregory Brod is a leading San Francisco injury lawyer and our firm offers a free consultation to all potential clients.