Methamphetamine as a Sleepless Dream or Addictive Nightmare

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Methamphetamine as a Sleepless Dream or Addictive Nightmare Methamphetamine has reclaimed a place in the lexicon of "party" drugs. Hailed by nocturnal adventurers, condemned by raver idealists, is speed a sleepless dream or an addictive nightmare? Here at the end of the millennium, the pace of modern life seems fleeting -- a whirl of minutes, hours and days. In dealing with the changes, humans have equipped themselves with the tools to move faster, more efficiently. At the same time a dependence for the marketing, high-speed transportation and pharmacology of this modern age has evolved. In a race to outdo ourselves, we have moved dangerously toward the fine line between extinction and evolution. Therefore, the human capacity to handle the velocity becomes a fragile balance. Our generation (see Gen X, 20-somethings) could be considered the sleepless generation. An age of society's children weaned on the ideals of high-speed communication and accelerated culture has prided itself in mastering many of the facets of human existence -- doing more, sleeping less. The machines of this age have in a way enabled us to create a 24-hour lifestyle. We have pushed the limits of the modern world further -- ATMs, high-speed modems, smart bombs and bullet trains. However, the limitations of human existence, like sleep, may still provide the stumbling block for infinite realization. That is, without chemical aid. In many ways, capitalism fuels the idea. Our society is based upon the mass consumption of these substances. Cultural ideals, while seemingly benevolent as "Have a Coke and a smile" have sold the link to chemical substances like caffeine and nicotine to "the good life." Today, stimulants are the bedrock for consumer culture. For our generation, this appeal was heightened by raising the stakes in the '80s on what it meant to have fun. Late night clubs, high speed music and 24-hour lifestyles brought the specter of drugs to the fold as a necessity for being able to attain more. Leaps away from the psychedelics of the '60s, in the '80s these stimulant drugs became tools -- utilitarian devices to gain wealth, intelligence and prestige. Sleep became a barrier for success. Dreams were the frivolous luxuries of childhood. Raves, founded equally in the post-conservative underground late-'80s and the chaotic early-'90s, are pa... ... middle of paper ... ..., however, by methamphetamine's nature -- as a refined, concentrated addictive substance -- it only perpetuates the cycle for needing more. There is very little factual information about amphetamines and their dangers available to the lay person. Research on the subject, aside from medical journals, is virtually nill. There is however a great deal of dangerous propaganda -- hear-say, lies, rumors. Misinformation sometimes is more dangerous than no information and real answers are only found through communication. Many other drugs have been part of the rave community over the years -- nitrous oxide, Special K (ketamine) and especially ecstasy (MDMA) but none have exhibited the burn-out or addiction rate associated with methamphetamine. While meth (or any drug) is an inert substance that we cannot attribute blame to, by its nature it has raised the question "Are we really built for speed?" It seems that the human body, while naturally resilient to much self-inflicted abuse, may not be a reliable container for the soul at high speeds. Methamphetamine may have the ability to chemically fuel the ride, physically it may just prove the limitations for human society.

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