What is P2P? Everything You Need to Know
Methamphetamine has been all but forgotten as new addiction centers on opioids. However, a new type of methamphetamine has created a spike in meth use. The drug, phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) methamphetamine, is being debated: what makes P2P meth different from other forms of methamphetamine? How does it affect mental health? What are its effects and dangers?
The P2P Meth
Methamphetamine, known by its shorthand meth, is a central nervous system stimulant. When taken in high doses, it induces an elevated mood state and has effects similar to amphetamine on the brain. It can be snorted, smoked, or orally ingested and is generally manufactured illegally. The use of meth can result in addiction.
Amphetamines have a long history of abuse globally, including among soldiers both during and after World War II. Once the war ended, these drugs were brought back to the United States and subsequently became popularized as a way to treat a variety of possible health conditions. Amphetamines are still prescribed for ADD and attention-deficit disorder and occasionally for narcolepsy and weight loss.
Methamphetamine is also known as speed and glass. It was initially manufactured in homemade laboratory set-ups that used cold medicine products containing ephedrine, found in pseudoephedrine. Due to laws prohibiting the sale of these products, the manufacture of methamphetamine traveling across the border from Mexico increased.
Eventually, the Mexican government joined in banning the sale of ephedrine, forcing drug traffickers to find alternate ways to create methamphetamine. Recently, the government has cracked down on legally prescribed amphetamines. This has led to a rise in the production of illegal methamphetamine, which is now the most commonly abused amphetamine in the United States.
How Is P2P Meth Made?
The first P2P recipe was created in America in the 1970s and was used by biker gangs like the Hells Angels. The recipe was refined in the 2000s using ephedrine as a key ingredient, and chemists of the criminal world discovered that various readily available, interchangeable products could be used in its place.
Thanks to the rise of smaller operations with super labs, the production of methamphetamine are cheaper than ever before. The crackdown on ephedrine-based cold remedies has led to a change in production: making meth with chemicals like P2P produces a stronger substance than the old version.
- Sulfuric acid
- Hydrochloric acid
- Racing fuel
Methamphetamine prepared in a clandestine drug lab is often more concentrated than products from pharmacies, typically containing a mixture of d- and l-methamphetamine. Both forms are methamphetamine, obviously, but d-methamphetamine can be found in prescription drugs, and l-methamphetamine can be found in over-the-counter products. Street drugs usually contain both but usually have more of the d-isomer because of their enhanced effects.
Is P2P Meth Stronger Than Regular Meth?
D-isomer drugs, like P2P, produce mind-altering highs. L-isomer drugs, on the other hand, affect the body. P2P contains high concentrations of d-isomer compounds, having a different high for its users than other drugs.
Methamphetamine made from ephedrine usually produces increased energy and socialization, sometimes for days. However, methamphetamine (a.k.a., P2P meth) that was synthesized has very different effects, such as severe mental illness, psychosis, the desire to isolate, and hallucinations or delusions.
The P2P meth sold on the street is often made in unsanitary conditions, and even people who intend to sell medication to their customers often don’t know anything about chemistry. As a result, street meth often has additional and significant side effects than real medications.
This new type of methamphetamine contains fentanyl, and users are more likely to develop severe mental illness and other adverse mental health effects. The drug is more addictive than ordinary methamphetamine, which users often mix with fentanyl. It takes a very long time for P2P methamphetamine users to detox, and they often experience rapid declines in physical health after using the drug for only a short time.
P2P meth mimics many physical and psychological changes caused by ephedrine-based meth. Meth causes heightened blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate and changes the psychological functioning of the body and brain. Dopamine levels are heightened when a person uses meth, causing euphoria and energy. Persistent paranoia, aggression, and hallucinations can also occur. The body builds up a tolerance over time.
How to Identify P2P Meth vs. Regular Meth
You may find the drug itself if you look inside your home. The drug comes in white, crystalline powder form or as tablets. Crystal meth is a version of the drug which looks like glass or rocks. If you have a lot of any one ingredient in your home or ingredients with strange markings, you might have someone in your home that’s making meth.
The ingredients include:
- Sulfuric, muriatic, or hydrochloric acid
- Coffee filters that have strange stains or powders on them
- Funnels and turkey basters
- Improvised glassware
- Several boxes of cold medication containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
- Lithium batteries
Meth can now be made with a combination of chemicals, such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and so on:
- Sulfuric acid
- Hydrochloric acid
- Racing fuel
Many items found in the home can be used to make methamphetamine. They can include:
- Glass pipes
- Rolled up dollar bills
- Miniature spoons
Recognizing A Meth Addiction
Meth addiction can begin to take over a person’s life just a short time after taking the drug. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), an individual can be clinically diagnosed as having a Methamphetamine use disorder if they meet more than 2 of any of the following criteria within 12 months:
- Using meth in hazardous situations, including fatally overdosing or driving under the influence
- Neglecting professional, academic, or personal responsibilities
- Damage to relationships caused by Meth use
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when trying to quit
- Requiring increasingly large doses of meth to get the same feeling (tolerance)
- Using larger quantities of meth for longer periods
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to control or stop use altogether
- Spending large amounts of time abusing meth
- Developing physical or psychological problems due to Meth use
- Giving up activities to use or get more meth
- Experiencing cravings for the drug
For meth abuse disorder to be diagnosed, at least two or three of these symptoms must be present.
What to Do When Someone Is Addicted to Meth
Recognizing Meth addiction can be difficult for friends or family. In the early stages, the signs of addiction might not be evident to someone who hasn’t dealt with it before. The person begins to fail responsibilities at work, school, or home. They may stop taking care of themselves, seeing the doctor, or working. They may not get enough sleep or food. They start to isolate themselves from friends and family and become irritable or easily lose balance.
Meth addiction can be one of the most challenging addictions for someone using or has been using for a long time to overcome. It can be dangerous, partly because of its physical and psychological effects. The detoxing process can be hard to do alone, but it can get easier with help.
Conclusion: How to Get Help
Once you realize that you or someone in your family has a problem with meth, one of the best things you can do is seek help. Meth is one of the most addictive substances known to man, and it’s an uphill battle to quit it. Using the services of a professional treatment center can help the person you love get the help they need. Don’t let them suffer from the side effects of meth use. Make the call now.