It is also a belief that chronic abuse of the drug would eventually lead to profound reduction in the gray matter of the brain. There are many associated health risks reported with methamphetamine abuse, some of which are risky sexual behavior, social and family problems, and drug induced psychosis (Murray, 1998).
Quite as expected, methamphetamine is a popular drug of abuse with limited role as a licit therapeutic agent only in certain indications (Gibson, Leamon, & Flynn, 2002). Due to growing problem of methamphetamine abuse, there is increased demand of the drug, and in many parts of the United State, there are illegal indigenous methamphetamine synthesis laboratories to meet this demand, which hardly follow any safety protocol (Topolski, 2007). People working in these facilities are exposed to increased risk of occupational hazards. There are also reports of increased industrial accidents in these manufacturing units. It has been reported that methamphetamine abuse, manufacturing, control, and accidental or unintentional exposure, all have been associated with health hazards, which have grown into a significant public health problems with no easy solutions (Spoth, Clair, Shin, & Redmond, 2006). On the other hand, there is quite a volume of research in this area with abundant information. Therefore, it would be prudent to undertake a research in this area with the aim of finding solutions to these problems associated with methamphetamine.
In order to be able to understand the problem better, it is felt that this problem should be studied in greater detail right from its roots. If involvement in illegal drug manufacturing leads to inordinate exposure with potential and real health risks (Lazarou, 2008), then the root is at the social and economic drivers of the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine, almost to the extent of household small scale industry dedicated to production of street drugs. Drug abuse of any kind is associated with criminal activities of trading with tremendous fiscal implications (Cartier, Farabee, & Prendergast, 2006). Therefore identification and characterization of the problem need an analysis of the epidemiological details of methamphetamine abuse, since solutions for the epidemiological factors may lead to decreased abuse and demand. If the demand is less, there would be less production as expected, and this may curtail the occupational hazards associated with methamphetamine manufacturing units (Tunnell, 2006).
Thus the objectives of this research are to study and critically review information on methamphetamine abuse history and epidemiology, processes and materials employed in the manufacturing of illegal methamphetamine, so an analysis of hazards and risks for the first responders and public associated with such illegal laboratories