Social Question

SmashTheState's avatar

Did breathing meth/crack smoke give me asthma?

Asked by SmashTheState (9636 points ) February 16th, 2011

I have the flu right now. This is day 5 and I can’t remember ever feeling this awful from the flu before. Because I’m asthmatic, every time I lie down I feel like I’m smothering, so despite being completely exhausted to the point I can’t keep my eyes open, I can’t sleep more than a few minutes at a stretch.

I never used to be asthmatic. Three years ago, I made the mistake of accepting someone as a roommate whom I knew had a drug habit. She had promised that she wouldn’t use in the house; she broke that promise the day she moved in. Within two months her boyfriend (who had just gotten out of prison) moved in with us. She had a crack/meth addiction, he had a heroin addiction; together, they both ended up with a crack/meth and heroin addiction.

The crack available here is stepped on pretty hard. It’s called “g-rock” and is actually more meth than crack (since meth is cheaper to manufacture, and it gets the user hooked harder). For a year, they lived in my apartment and smoked up, shot up, and eventually turned my apartment into a crack house. In the end I ended up thousands of dollars in debt from unpaid rent, phone bills, utility bills, stolen money, and so forth. They refused to leave and I had to get a half-dozen large friends together to enact an extra-legal eviction.

During the year I lived in Hell, I became asthmatic. I started waking up during the night unable to catch my breath, feeling like I was drowning. I caught a cold and it turned into double-lung pneumonia. Since then, I’ve had to use asthma puffers off and on.

My question is this: I’ve always wondered, did their crack/meth smoking make me asthmatic? Or would it have happened anyway? I’ve lived with smokers before so the fact that they both smoked (they claimed they smoked outside, but they lied; as if, with asthma and pneumonia, I wouldn’t be able to tell every time they lit up) shouldn’t have made any difference. Indeed, I, myself, smoke a pipe (though for some reason the pipe tobacco doesn’t trigger my asthma).

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9 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It doesn’t sound unreasonable. Areas with a lot of smog and air pollution tend to have a higher rate of asthmatics in the population, so I don’t think it would be impossible to think that breathing noxious fumes within your home could potentially contribute to your developing asthma.
Personally, I developed asthma after a brutal case of pneumonia in my late teens.. so I wouldn’t rule that out as a possibility, either. Living around smokers prior to this incident could have been causing you chronic lung irritation, which will also contribute to the likelihood of one developing asthma. The pneumonia may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” so to speak. By “smokers” I assume you mean cigarettes… but overall, I can see how frequently breathing in irritants like that could probably be a contributing factor, if not the cause.

talljasperman's avatar

it didn’t help

chyna's avatar

You come across here as someone that would not put up with crap from anyone. I’m really surprised you would have put up with anyone doing drugs in your home. I would think it did contribute somewhat to your asthma.

Rarebear's avatar

You smoke a pipe and you have asthma? Are you high? (get it?)

SmashTheState's avatar

@chyna She was a comrade. She belonged to the same organization I represent, and I felt obliged to take a risk. The risk didn’t pan out this time, but it has many times in the past. My personal philosophy is that if you want someone to be trustworthy, you begin by showing them trust.

@Rarebear I enjoy my pipe, but I don’t smoke regularly. When I’m in the mood I might smoke once every two or three days, but sometimes I’ll go weeks or even months between bowls. One doesn’t deliberately inhale pipe smoke (it ruins the flavour of the tobacco), which may be why it doesn’t trigger my asthma. On the other hand, certain types of second-hand cigarette smoke are capable of giving me instant asthma attacks.

Cruiser's avatar

Try sleeping in an reclined upright position instead of lying flat to relieve stress on your lungs and watch out for complications from that flu…like pneumonia. Your compromised lungs are a prime candidate for that. Get well soon.

Rarebear's avatar

@SmashTheState You don’t inhale the smoke directly, but you are exposed to it.

mrrich724's avatar

Tell the doctor (who diagnosed you with asthma and/or prescribed you the pumps) that you smoke a pipe but don’t inhale. See what he/she says.

Ladymia69's avatar

I just had a terrible bout of bronchitis last fall which led me to develop asthma,so I know it can develop suddenly. And hell yeah, I think exposure to that kind of chemical nastiness might be accountable for your asthma.

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