Crystal Meth, also known by its chemical name Amphetamines is no stranger to humankind. It has been used since 1887 when it was first made in Germany and used for a wide variety of purposes and seen as a performance enhancer. Methamphetamines are a newer more potent and easier to make variant of Amphetamines and were patented in Japan in 1919. In World War 2 Methamphetamine use became synonymous with both the Japanese and German military forces at the time. Japanese Kamikaze pilots used it in high doses before their suicide missions and Nazi soldiers used Methamphetamines to stay awake and to enhance their performance as well. It is commonly known amongst crystal meth manufactures the world over, that Nazi Germany and Japan used Methamphetamines to achieve various military goals and coerce individuals into overcoming various limitations that arise from morality and pain tolerance. Hence this drug is used as an exploitative tool amongst many criminal organizations today to achieve these same goals. After World War 2 supply stores of Methamphetamines became accessible to the public in Japan and caused a widespread Methamphetamine pandemic.
In the 1950s, Methamphetamines became a scheduled substance and was prescribed for a variety of ailments from dietary issues to depression. It was easily available and thus was used recreationally by college students, truck drivers and athletes, anyone looking to temporarily enhance their performance. This is another instance in which the abuse of this drug began to escalate and spread among yet another community. This worsened in the 1960s, Methamphetamines was predominantly injected at this time and due to the stigma around that its use became even more taboo.
In 1970, Methamphetamine use became illegal the US and various other countries followed. Motorcycle gangs in the US then became the major controllers, distributors and producers of this substance and its use amongst lower income communities became more popular.
In the 1990s Methamphetamines being illegal in most countries began to be a high selling product for many cartels across the world. Stemming from large scale Mexican cartel run factories in California to smaller productions happening in local apartments. Soon it began to spread across the world through the various criminal organizations eventually entering South Africa.
In South Africa Methamphetamine production, distribution and sale is regulated and controlled purely by criminal organizations. South Africa is home to one of the largest Methamphetamine production and distribution networks in Southern Africa. The Nigerians are often known as the major producers of this substance, and they work with various other cartels in the country to distribute and sell it. Methamphetamine based substances are still in circulation and used medically to help address ailments such as attention deficit disorder and have yet to be phased out entirely. Having displaced cannabis in many communities this substance’s use has been spreading rapidly across Africa. Originally brought into the continent through Afghanistan’s illicit trade channels, it’s been in circulation in South Africa since trade restriction imposed during the Apartheid regime were lifted opening up the market to opportunistic illicit traders, this was how Crystal Meth Use began in South Africa. The first Methamphetamine labs were seized in 1998 after it had already become a major problem in many communities in the Western Cape. Tick being used as the popular name of this drug.
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