Kevin Morris 5m 1,149 #plants
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Stimulant drug addiction is an ongoing threat to our career journey. However, the problem is not limited to one specific type of stimulant drug. Instead, both plant-based and synthetic versions of stimulant drugs have taken over people’s lives, sparking widespread drug abuse and career fallout. But are some stimulant drugs more dangerous by comparison? Here are the stimulants that pose the greatest threat to career longevity.
The Two Players
Quest Diagnostics reported earlier this year that the rate of employees who tested positive for drugs is at its highest rate since 2001. This 20-year increase included marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Most people have dismissed the significance of the findings concerning marijuana use because of its widespread legalization. In fact, even the giant corporation Amazon announced last year that its drug testing protocols would no longer include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the most widely recognized ingredient found in marijuana. Marijuana still poses a set of problems for companies that aren’t located in legal states, but the issue of methamphetamine and cocaine use are universally relevant to companies and employees because neither of these drugs has legal status in the United States.
Quest reported that the positivity rate of meth was up over 26 percent since the previous year, while cocaine was at a shocking 46 percent increase. If you are aware of the different classes of drugs, you might realize that both these drugs are stimulants. However, one is synthetic (meth), while the other is plant-based (cocaine). This does not mean either drug is “natural” or safe, but it does highlight the difference between their production.
Note that these results do not even account for the prescription stimulant drugs regularly prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall. If we were to include statistics on the legal and illicit use of prescription stimulants, the numbers would be much higher than already accounted for. Instead, we’re limiting this discussion to stimulant drugs that are not legal to possess. Meth is produced or “cooked” from over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine mixed with various household chemicals. This makes a highly potent (and toxic) drug that causes widespread organ damage over time.
On the other hand, cocaine is derived from South American coca leaves, roughly 90% of which comes to the United States from Colombia through Mexico. But while cocaine is plant-based, it still is a toxic substance. Cocaine undergoes chemical transformations in its production from leaf to powder, and it is commonly cut with other drugs. By the time meth or cocaine gets into the user’s hands, they have a toxic, chemically altered substance in their possession. But due to cocaine’s plant-based key ingredient, production is complex, more expensive, and distribution is more difficult compared to meth.
In terms of how these drugs threaten our careers, we can assume that ongoing use of these drugs will often cost us our jobs, especially since so many companies have a zero-tolerance drug policy. However, it’s more important to consider the issue of career longevity as something related directly to our physical and mental health. As mentioned before, these toxic substances cause severe damage to the body over time. Comparing cocaine and meth might seem like a simple issue of which drug is more potent, but the answer is much more complex.
Generally, meth is a more potent stimulant drug that stays in the body for a longer time compared to cocaine. Not only does this make meth a highly addictive substance, it means the drug’s negative effects will take a toll on the body much faster. Because meth is entirely a chemical substance, it has many more toxic substances that we expose our bodies to each time we use the drug.
A Deadly Cut
With these facts in mind, meth may seem like the easy answer on paper, but this might not always be the case. The reason for this is not necessarily because of cocaine’s potency alone but because of the ongoing problem of drug cutting.
Cocaine was a popular drug for cutting for a long time, and some users would purposefully mix cocaine with opioids like heroin to attempt to get the best effects of both drugs at the same time. However, with fentanyl’s rise, a much more potent opioid with lethal doses as small as 2 mg, the contents in a bag of alleged cocaine are literally deadly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that cocaine is involved in nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths. Even before the pandemic, nearly 85% of overdose deaths involved illicitly manufactured fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or meth, and these numbers have only increased since then.
With these added dangers of drug cutting in mind, it’s no longer a simple matter of picking which drug poses a greater danger. Instead, we have to assume that any drug has the potential to ruin our careers, if not our lives. And if we decide to continue taking our chances with these drugs, meeting danger in a life-threatening way becomes a matter of when—not if. If you or someone you love is using illicit stimulant drugs, seek professional help right away.
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