Legalized Meth And Speed Freaks

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By the 1950s and 1960s, meth was legally produced and sold over the counter as Methedrine and marketed to housewives as antidotes to depression and weight gain, to truckers to help them drive longer hauls without sleep, and to students and athletes seeking to push themselves longer and harder with greater energy and stamina. Today, methamphetamine is legally pro-duced—yet rarely prescribed—in the United States as the drug Desoxyn to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), obesity, and narcolepsy.9

The widespread use of legal amphetamines and meth-amphetamine created many abusers, who were known as "speed freaks." They stayed up for days on end, lost significant amounts of weight due to lack of appetite, and eventually crashed into stupors. They often became jumpy, paranoid, and psychotic. After laws such as the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act were passed to limit the availability of amphetamines, speed freaks, looking for a bigger high, began to shoot up (inject) methamphetamine, which was still legal and readily available. Soon the drug culture realized the dangers of shooting meth, and public health clinics, doctors, and even former

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