The Methamphetamine Epidemic and P2P Meth

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Methamphetamines have been around for decades, and they have gained notoriety in recent years as more people turn to meth to get high. Meth is less expensive and often easier to get than other drugs, which is one reason it has reached epidemic proportions.

With the introduction of P2P meth, the risks involved in drug use become even more serious. If you or someone you love has been using, it is important to understand more about this drug.

What is P2P Meth?

P2P meth is a type of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is a stimulant classified as a Schedule II drug by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)¹. Under this classification, the drug can be used for medical purposes, but it can’t be used without a prescription. It’s highly addictive and can last longer than other drugs. Meth can stay in the system for up 12 hours.

Unlike the original meth, which uses pseudoephedrine as one of the active ingredients, the P2P chemical uses phenyl-2-propanone or phenylacetone². Other chemicals can be used to make P2P meth, including acetone, lye, cyanide, hydrochloric acid, mercury, and sulfuric acid. Because of the diverse chemicals that can be used, the effects of P2P meth can be just as varied. 

Meth usually makes the person more social and outgoing, which is why you will find it in clubs and at parties. This P2P chemical can make the person withdrawn and cause them to experience hallucinations. Dealers may mix it with other drugs, such as fentanyl, which will also impact how it causes the person to react. These combinations can also be life-threatening in higher doses.

How Does Meth Impact the Brain?

Methamphetamine is popular because of the euphoria it provides. Where cocaine creates a level of up to 350 units, meth yields around 1250 units³. People who use the drug say it’s incomparable to anything else they have ever experienced.

When that euphoric feeling fades from a meth high, it typically leads to a deep depression. The depression is the main reason people keep reusing the drug. They want to avoid that feeling after such a powerful high. 

Meth damages the brain, preventing it from being able to experience any pleasure on its own. It can take years to recover, and it may never return to normal levels.

The P2P chemical goes a step further. It causes paranoia, hallucinations, and memory loss. It leads to mental illness, which may not be overcome even with years of abstinence. Meth has always caused mental health issues, but P2P puts it on a new level.

The Meth Epidemic

Meth use has continued to increase in recent years. Information from the Centers for Disease Control shows that meth use grew from 2015 to 2018 with an annual use rate of just under 60 people per 1000. Of those using methamphetamines, about 57 percent also used heroin or another opioid drug⁴. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, meth use increased by 43 percent in 2019. However, frequent use, which is defined as using at least 100 days in a year, went up by 66 percent⁵. The research also links meth and cocaine use, which has also increased. These numbers indicate risky patterns of use, which can lead to overdose and death. 

Opioid use has been an epidemic for years, but meth is involved as a second epidemic with it being the second-highest drug used in drug overdoses. Many users like combining the two drugs to help eliminate the negative effects of the other one. Meth is also considered to be less stigmatized, easier to obtain, and cheaper.

Tracking the Increase in P2P Meth Use

With more restrictions imposed on the active ingredient for meth, those manufacturing the drug had to find a substitute. Since P2P provides a similar high that is also potent, it has developed a following.

The drug is just as addictive as regular meth. It’s also easy to manufacture and sell and inexpensive, which appeals to frequent stimulant users.

Access to meth had never been difficult, but it exploded with the introduction of P2P. Labs sprung up almost overnight with the ability to produce more meth than ever before. Another factor is the legalizing of marijuana throughout much of the US. Drug dealers switched from marijuana, which took a long time to grow, to meth. They could cook it and have it ready to sell in very little time.

Dealers expanded to small towns and rural communities because of how much meth was available. They could find new markets even among those who couldn’t afford cocaine or heroin.

Meth Addiction Treatment

As with any addictive drug, meth addiction hasn’t been easy to treat. However, treatment centers have successfully helped people using meth to get sober and maintain their recovery. P2P meth presents a new and unique challenge because of its severity and rapidity.

Users of P2P can begin declining almost immediately after their first try. They may report hallucinations or other side effects from the first sample they are given. Mental health issues don’t take long to show up from this kind of meth. While it’s not uncommon to treat mental illness and drug addiction as a dual diagnosis, it can be more challenging with P2P meth. This drug appears to cause decline in users rapidly. While damage often happens slowly with regular meth, it occurs much faster with P2P.

Because this is such as highly addictive drug, most often readily available even in small towns, it is critical that you seek treatment from a facility that is experienced in meth. Relapse is far too common with meth use, but you can avoid relapse by getting the right support.


Legacy Healing Centers offers support for those dealing with a meth addiction through our outpatient and inpatient programs. Treatment begins with detoxifying the body of the drug, so that treatment can begin. 

Detoxing from meth can be challenging and just as much so for P2P. Withdrawal symptoms can begin quickly, leading to anxiety, paranoia, and depression. If the withdrawal becomes severe enough, it can lead to thoughts of self-harm. Intense cravings for meth can lead the person to seek out the drug again. 

Detox programs help the person make it through withdrawal with drugs that can alleviate the symptoms or reduce the severity. Medical detox can provide the support the person needs to get through this difficult time. Before detox begins, a doctor may perform an exam to determine if any physical or mental issues will be exacerbated by withdrawal and if the use of detox drugs is safe. 

Treatment Programs

The therapist will work with the patient to create a treatment plan. This plan will often include inpatient therapy that may transition to outpatient treatment as they improve. They must continue with 12-step program meetings and other aftercare programs to avoid relapse. Our goal at Legacy Healing Centers is to help you overcome your addiction to meth or P2P and begin a new life. We treat the whole person and not just the addiction. 

Often, treatment starts with a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). This intensive program is highly structured and includes clinical treatment to provide the necesary support to overcome addiction. 

Outpatient programs can vary in intensity, depending on the person’s needs. At Legacy Healing Centers, the Intensive Outpatient Program includes community housing and group and individual therapy. Part of the purpose of this level of treatment is to help the person transition to their new life. 

Types of Therapy

The types of therapy chosen by the therapist are based on each individual’s unique needs. You can expect to engage in individual counseling, where you work one-on-one with a therapist to understand the causes of your addiction and how to handle the triggers to avoid relapse. 

Group therapy helps to reinforce the information discussed in the individual counseling sessions. It also provides support from others who are in similar situations and in various stages of their recovery. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps the person to learn new ways of thinking and and behaving when problems arise. It teaches coping skills to equip them when they are under stress or would normally turn to an addictive substance. 

Seek Help for P2P Meth with Legacy Healing Center’s Addiction Treatment

Legacy Healing Centers can help you overcome drug addiction, including meth. Our state-of-the-art facility offers drug detox and treatment programs to help you begin recovery. Our treatment specialists at the drug rehab in Florida provide the support necessary to help you avoid relapse. To learn more about our programs, contact us today at 888.534.2295.



  1. United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling
  2. The Atlantic. October 18, 2021.  I Don’t Know That I Would Even Call It Meth Anymore
  3. How Meth Destroys the Body
  4. Centers for Disease Control. March 27, 2020. Patterns and Characteristics of Methamphetamine Use Among Adults – United States – 2015-2018.
  5. National Institutes of Health. (2021, October). Trends in US methamphetamine use and associated deaths.