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Everything You Need to Know About Crystal Meth Addiction (And How to Quit)
One of the most insidious drugs that an individual can use is Crystal Meth. There have been numerous TV shows and movies based on what the drug can do to a person and for a while in the early 2000s meth usage swept the nation causing great concern and damage in many rural communities across the country.
Over the past few years meth usage has been on the decline, but for a while, you couldn’t turn on the nightly news without hearing some story about the horrors of meth addiction or meth manufacturing. Yet even with the media exposure that the drug received many people are still unaware of what it is, or just how dangerous of a substance it can be.
So, let’s take a look at Crystal Meth and the addiction it produces. Hopefully by reading the information presented below you will get a better understanding of just how dangerous this drug is and why it shouldn’t be thought of lightly. It is important to understand that meth addiction can set in very quickly and there are no legitimate or medically necessary reasons to take this drug, and as such, it should be avoided at all costs.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal Meth is a highly addictive and potent stimulant that affects the central nervous system of those who use the drug. It is a glass-like, crystalline substance that belongs to the methamphetamine family of drugs, and it is completely man-made and created from a series of chemicals that are extremely toxic to the human body. Since the drug is synthetic it is commonly manufactured in large, illegal laboratories, but can also be made in smaller laboratories based in abandoned buildings and or other dwellings.
The main ingredients that comprise crystal methamphetamine include pseudoephedrine, which is the active ingredient in Sudafed, iodine crystals and red phosphorous, which can be found in the residue of matches. Due to the toxic nature of the chemicals that are used in its’ production, making meth is an incredibly dangerous endeavour and often time meth labs explode causing fatal injuries to those involved.
How is Crystal Meth Used?
Meth can be administered in a number of ways. For example, meth users can take the drug orally as a gel tablet, or it can be mixed with water, soda or juice. Meth can also be smoked, injected intravenously, or snorted. The time it takes for users to feel effects of the drug vary depending on how the drug is administered. Those users who inject the drug will feel the effects within 15-30 seconds while those who take the drug orally will feel the effects in 20-30 minutes.
The Short-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Use
In small doses, meth users will experience increased alertness and physical activity as well as a decrease in appetite. Depending on the amount taken, the frequency in which the meth is taken and the individual’s medical history, crystal meth can also cause a variety of cardiovascular problems, including rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and an increase in blood pressure. Additionally, short-term use can also lead to hyperthermia or an increase in body temperature. For those who take a large amount of the drug, it can lead to convulsions and can result in death if medical assistance is not sought immediately.
The Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Use
The long-term effects of methamphetamine can be tremendously severe for both the body and the mind. Meth use constricts blood vessels and causes rapid aging in the user’s skin. The damage to blood vessels and tissue can also make it more difficult for the body to repair itself, which causes meth users to develop open sores and abscesses. These sores and abscesses are often times made worse by the fact that prolonged meth usage will cause an individual to pick at their skin for a variety of reasons, which can lead to infection and open lesions all over the body.
Meth use also causes extensive damage to teeth and gums and users develop meth mouth in which their teeth rot and fall out due to excessive drying of tooth sockets and increased acid build-up. If you have ever seen a before and after photo of meth addiction then you are aware of what this looks like. Individuals who abuse meth for even a year or two will experience dramatic tooth loss and will age what appears to be decades in just a few short years.
Meth addicts also experience wide mood swings, as well as significant bouts of depression and anxiety. Long-term use can produce hallucinations, psychosis, long periods of insomnia, and makes the user more susceptible to self-harming behaviours. Additionally, methamphetamine decreases an individual’s inhibitions, which could cause them to engage in risky sexual behaviour, leading to STDs or other serious injuries. Meth also suppresses the appetite, so many users experience malnutrition and severe weight loss.
Recovery from Crystal Meth
If you are struggling with crystal meth addiction and you are looking for help to overcome your addiction, you must find an intensive inpatient drug treatment centre that specializes in methamphetamine addiction. The first and most crucial step in the recovery process is medical detoxification, which helps combat the intense psychological withdrawal symptoms that users can experience when attempting to quit meth.
These symptoms may include:
– Strange sensations on the skin and body