DETOX / RESIDENTIAL INPATIENT / AFTERCARE
Everything to Know About Crystal Meth
Drug abuse is a global menace that has engulfed many adults and even a good proportion of teens. Although governments around the world are working hard to get rid of substance abuse, complete eradication of this condition is still a dream far fetched. Various drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, are used by the addicts to get the high they look for. Today, let’s delve deep into the most common of them all – Crystal Meth.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is a drug that is common among teens and young adults and has a highly addictive nature. This illegal substance is popular due to the euphoric effect it has on the body, that lasts for as long as 12 hours. The drug is known as glass, ice, or simply meth and resembles fragments of shiny glass of different sizes.
The drug is prepared illegally in illicit labs in the United States and abroad. The preparation of this drug is carried out using Over The Counter (OTC) drugs and combining them with toxic substances such as drain cleaner, antifreeze, lantern fuel, and battery acid. The drug is very popular at clubs, musical festivals, and parties.
How Is Crystal Meth Taken And How Does It Feel?
The drug is consumed by either inhaling, snorting, smoking, or even injecting into the body for faster results. Some people even insert the drug into the anus or the urethra. However, it doesn’t really matter how the drug is taken as it ultimately induces a strong desire to continue using the drugs.
Crystal Meth creates a wrong sense of well-being and happiness. This happens because when it is smoked into the body, the vapors are absorbed by the blood cells and are taken directly to the brain. Meth overproduces dopamine in the brain which causes the individual to feel happy and ecstatic. It also provides a temporary escape from the harsh realities of life along with enhancing one’s mood.
Some people take crystal meth because the drug can lead to rapid weight loss. However, they are unaware of the fact that the effects are reversed when they stop taking the drug. Further, our body becomes tolerant of crystal meth which reduces the weight loss effect with time.
What Are The Effects of Crystal Meth?
Irrespective of the amount taken, short term effects of crystal meth abuse are clearly visible and easily distinguishable. It includes faster breathing, a decreased appetite, a sudden spike in blood pressure and body temperature, and an irregular heartbeat.
The drug, when abused for long-term has effects that are far more serious. For example, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia become common along with a sudden increase in mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc. The user thinks he can hurt himself or the others and sees and hear things that aren’t actually there.
Frequent meth consumers develop a confusing and rather odd behavior which is easy to distinguish. They also feel bugs crawling to their skin all the time and suffer irreversible damage to their blood vessels in both the heart and the brain. The addicts feel dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, headache, high blood pressure, blurred vision, etc.
Users who regularly consume crystal meth are highly likely to lose their teeth through severe tooth decay, commonly known as meth mouth. It is the most visible and affirmative sign that a person is abusing crystal meth. However, a meth mouth is either resulted from the side effects of toxic substances on the teeth, or by the following traits of meth abusers:
- Regular use of crystal meth dries mouth which removes the protective saliva.
- Meth users frequently grind and clench their teeth.
- Meth users develop cravings for high sugar drinks.
- Oral hygiene is forgotten as the users are busy experiencing the out-of-the-world euphoric effect.
Addiction and withdrawal
When a person first starts using crystal meth, they usually need a small dose to get the effect they are looking for. However, after a while, the body develops a tolerance for the drug and now high doses are needed to give out the same euphoric effect. And the math is simple, the higher the dose, the higher the risk.
And it doesn’t need weeks or months for the addiction to kick in. It is only after a few uses of crystal meth that the body starts depending on the drug making it extremely difficult to control the urge. Due to the 12 hour effect, it has on the mind, users crave this feeling that encourages them to keep using the drug.
Also if someone wishes to no longer consume meth, the withdrawal symptoms will interfere in between. And while the physical symptoms aren’t observed even if there is a 2-3 day gap, the physiological withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and insomnia are observed the moment the chain breaks.
It only takes a few days for a person to fall completely into meth addiction. However, if you notice any of the above symptoms in either your friend, family members, relatives, partner, etc., it is time to be more cautious and plans a way to approach them. Start intervening by asking questions and slowly trying to make them understand why this addiction is bad and can exponentially deteriorate their health.
Your job is to convince the addict that they need to undergo proper treatment to come out of this. However, there is currently no approved drug to treat meth addiction and help a person recover from this addiction. Other treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, have resulted to be good in such cases.
Rehabilitation programs can also help addicts go through the withdrawal phase easily without giving in. The purpose of these programs is to guide the people toward a life where there is no meth but only a healthy lifestyle.
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