In the “Good Ol’ Days” When You Wanted an Antidepressant Meth was the Answer
Can you imagine what a shock it would have been to people in the 30s and 50s, who were regularly prescribed methamphetamine as an antidepressant, to have access to the information we have now? The Atlantic takes us on a journey of the past where methamphetamine was simply prescribed to help those who were suffering from “mild depression.” In fact, President Kennedy took to getting injected with meth to keep up his adventurous spirit!
They didn’t know what we know today. Meth has sundered millions of lives in the U.S. alone. Remember our first prize winner of our National Recovery Month contest, Audrey Wilmot? On the 30th of this month is “National Meth Awareness Day.” We’ll take a peek into how Audrey’s life was almost ruined because of her chronic addiction to meth, in honor of the holiday- and as a hopeful guide to those who may be traversing the same dangers. For the exclusive interview, make sure to check back at the end of the month!
But, back to meth as an antidepressant!
The Atlantic quotes a small snippet of the Chemical Heritage magazine, extolling the virtues of prescribing methamphetamine (which was initially thought of a wonder-drug):
“On June 3, 1929, a doctor injected 50 milligrams of amphetamine into Alles’d body . . . Seven minutes later he sniffed: his nose was dry and clear. His blood pressure climbed dramatically. After 17 minutes he noted heart palpitations but also a “feeling of well being.” He grew chatty and at a dinner party that night considered himself unusually witty. Some eight hours after taking the drug his blood pressure had nearly returned to normal.”
Eight hours?? That wasn’t a red flag?
Anyway, the long story short is, meth became the nation’s drug of choice in matters of weight loss, staving off misery, and as an energizer. Eventually the FDA realized the penchant for addiction and abuse the meth tablets and prescriptions are known for today, and banned the substance.
In response, the first Walter Whites were born, and moved their meth empires to their homes, and other places unsavory. And here we are today, awash in the travesty of addiction, where meth labs are still common occurrences. But now we have a new, sanctified type of meth- and it’s called adderall. The two substances may not be chemically equivalent, but their effects are still largely the same.
In small doses adderall is supposed to help quell various disorders, but what about its potential for abuse? Perhaps instead of reaching for pills and medications with dangerous side effects, we can all move towards holistic healing, to remedy the underlying causes of our ails. That would make the world a better place.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.