What You Need to Know About Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse

Everything that you need to know about crystal meth addiction and abuse cannot be found in TV shows or in movies. Most peoples basic understanding of crystal meth comes from the media, which may undermine the very serious reality of addiction in the United States.

Over a million Americans have tried methamphetamine at least once. Even more alarming is the fact that close to 25 million people across the world are currently abusing crystal meth. Clearly, addiction to crystal meth is a serious issue that affects millions of people.

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What is Crystal Meth?

While amphetamine was first created more than a century ago, different forms of the drug have become increasingly powerful over the years. People have discovered different ways to manufacture methamphetamine, which has made meth effects even more dangerous.

Today, since crystal meth is illegal, the drug is created in small labs through a chemical process. The end result is methamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as crystal meth.

Crystal Meth: Understanding the Dangerous Drug

No matter the name or the form of crystal meth, there is no question that the effects of methamphetamine are dangerous.

This is because of what the drug is made of. The illicit drug is a synthetic chemical, which means it is completely man-made. It does come from a plant, like cocaine or marijuana.

Instead, crystal meth "cooks" use a combination of man-made chemicals to create crystal meth. Most use common cold medicines - like pseudoephedrine - as the base of the drug.

They then mix it with dangerous chemicals made from drain cleaner, fuel, battery acid, and even antifreeze. This is why crystal meth is not only addictive, but also very damaging to a persons physical health.

Other names and slang terms for different forms of crystal meth on the street include:

  • Meth
  • Speed
  • Crystal
  • Glass
  • Shards
  • Ice
  • Tic
  • Crank

Methamphetamines work by releasing a massive amount of dopamine into the brain. It is essentially a stimulant (much like prescription amphetamine) that affects both the brain and the entire central nervous system.

Because dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward, crystal meth creates a kind of euphoria in the drug user as it releases the neurotransmitter in massive quantities. This is what causes the 'rush' or 'high' associated with methamphetamine use. This rush is what first causes crystal meth abuse - and in some cases, addiction.

The Danger of Abusing Crystal Meth

Unfortunately, many people in Colorado and around the United States do not have a full understanding of what crystal meth addiction looks like. It is important to know both what methamphetamine abuse looks like and what the best options for addiction treatment are.

Thankfully, crystal meth addiction can be treated. Abuse of methamphetamine can be overcome through professional treatment and support from the friends and family around you. To get a full picture of crystal meth addiction and abuse, as well as effective drug rehab options, you can find all of the information you need in this brief guide to recognizing and recovering from crystal meth addiction.

What Does Methamphetamine Abuse Look Like?

It is worth noting here that there are several legitimate medical purposes for methamphetamine. Desoxyn, for example, is a prescription methamphetamine used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD). Desoxyn is a legitimate medical use of methamphetamine, and should only be used with a prescription from a doctor.

Other prescription amphetamines include Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and dextroamphetamine. All of these are considered prescription stimulants -which can be dangerous in their own way, just like Desoxyn.

There is not any legitimate use of crystal meth. This form of methamphetamine is created solely with illicit and dangerous purposes in mind. The physical and psychological damage caused by using crystal meth is beyond minimal or casual. A crystal methamphetamine metabolism is faster than an average metabolism, which means that abuse of the drug leads to Because of this, any form of crystal meth use can be considered abusing the drug.

But how can you tell when someone is abusing crystal meth? There are several signs of methamphetamine use to look for:

  • Crystal meth may cause a user to go longer periods of time without sleep.
  • Because crystal methamphetamine speeds up the metabolism, the drug often causes users to lose weight, often to a drastic degree.
  • Methamphetamine use can often lead to a loss of appetite sustained over a long period of time.
  • Crystal meth can cause users to engage in an unusual amount of activity - appearing hyper.
  • Individuals using crystal meth typically appear anxious or nervous, especially in the initial hours when the rush of meth use begins to wear off.

Crystal meth appears as clear crystals, which look like broken pieces of glass or even ice. The items to look for used in crystal meth abuse include pieces of aluminum foil, soda cans, glass pipes with burn marks on the bottom end, and even light bulbs with similar markings. If you see any of these paraphernalia along with the physical symptoms outlined above, this may be a sign of crystal meth abuse.

crystal-meth addiction

What Does Crystal Meth Addiction Look Like?

Because crystal meth is a powerful stimulant, it is also very addictive for people who use it. When someone becomes addicted to crystal meth, it is very difficult to hide from those around them.

Some of the most common warning signs of addiction include:

  • The person becomes withdrawn from social circles, family and friends.
  • The person shows less motivation at school or work, decreasing performance due to drug use.
  • The person experiences withdrawal symptoms.
  • The person can stay up for days at a time, and then sleeps for long periods at a time to make up for this activity.
  • The person lies about their drug use, their behavior, or their whereabouts.
  • The person turns to borrowing or stealing money to sustain their use of crystal meth.
  • The person spends a good portion of time getting over the negative effects of using crystal meth.
  • The person engages in illegal activities to obtain the drug.
  • The person shows aggressive behavior toward anyone and everyone.
  • The person shows physical signs of addiction (weight loss, rotten teeth, sores, and skin abscesses).
  • The person loses weight due to a crystal methamphetamine metabolism.

Drug addiction causes people to lose control over their actions. This means that they may begin to engage in riskier behavior and may not even act or look like themselves. Searching for crystal meth mouth pictures on the Internet shows how powerful and dangerous this drug can be.

Another major sign of drug addiction is experiencing an overdose. Symptoms of a crystal meth overdose include difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, extreme agitation, a high body temperature, and sometimes seizures or a stroke.

One of the most common symptoms of crystal meth addiction is the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Over the long term, crystal meth users will stop experiencing the rush that first brought them to use the drug. Instead, they will keep using the drug just to feel normal. This is because, over time, methamphetamine use creates a dependency on the drug in the body.

If a meth user goes too long without the drug, they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Experiencing these symptoms after going twelve to twenty-four hours without using crystal meth is a good sign that someone is addicted.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Experiencing lethargy or overtiredness
  • An intense appetite
  • Experiencing more anxiety than before taking the drug
  • Paranoia
  • Feelings of depression
  • Symptoms of psychosis
  • Experiencing an intense craving for meth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth

Knowing what these withdrawal symptoms look like is important for rehab from crystal meth addiction and abuse. Medical detox from negative meth effects is the first step toward recovering from the hold that crystal meth may have on your life.

The Long Term Side Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse

If you have seen crystal meth mouth pictures, you know already know what at least one of the long term side effects of crystal meth abuse can look like. But it does not stop there.

Other long term side effects of using methamphetamine include:

  • Damage to the eyes and impaired vision
  • Changed and problematic sleep patterns over the long-term
  • The development of mood disorders
  • Issues with reproductive health, and sometimes infertility
  • Impaired dental health (i.e. 'crystal meth mouth')
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Respiratory disease
  • Anxiety and depression

Common Questions About Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse

Some people may still not be sure if they or someone they love is addicted to drugs. To help you get an even better understanding of the effects of crystal meth, we answer all of the most common questions about the abuse of and addiction to the methamphetamine drug here.

Crystal meth takes the form of hardened crystals, which is then smoked either from a pipe or pieces of aluminum foil.

Crystal meth is already a more specific form of methamphetamine, which can take on other physical appearances. Other forms of meth include a white or light brown powder, and sometimes even pills (known as speed).

Yes - meth use can cause anxiety, depression and even psychosis when coming off the rush. Long-term psychological effects include the development of mental disorders.

While not as common as marijuana or the abuse of prescription drugs, crystal meth affects at least 25 million people around the world.

Yes, there is a high risk of overdose when using crystal meth. The drug is extremely potent as a stimulant, reaching the central nervous system very quickly. Over time the desired effects of the drug decrease, causing users to take higher amounts of the drug. Because of this, some people experience a sudden overdose by taking too much meth at once. A crystal meth overdose often results in life threatening effects.

In some cases, methamphetamine is prescribed to treat ADHD. However, this is the only medical purpose for meth.

Yes! While drug addiction is a very serious mental disorder, it can be effectively treated through rehab, counseling and group support.

Getting Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

There may be different forms of crystal meth, but they are all extremely dangerous. It may be cliché, but the phrase 'just say no' applies here. Meth affects every aspect of your life, and there is no such thing as casual crystal meth use.

The good news is that crystal meth addiction is treatable, and overcoming crystal meth abuse is entirely possible. If you are suffering from addiction to crystal meth, it is crucial that you find professional help.

Some of the treatment options for crystal meth include:

  • Residential Rehab: This approach to addiction treatment is for those who have struggled with addiction or drug abuse for manli years. Rehab usually requires living in a residential facility full-time for several weeks.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: An alternative to residential rehab, intensive outpatient programs offer the same essential services but allow participants to remain at home during treatment. This is the flexibility and commitment that fits most people, and is usually the least expensive treatment option.
  • Group Support Meetings: In addition to professional treatment programs, rehab can be supplemented through group support. Forumli like Narcotics Anonymous offer those struggling with crystal meth addiction to process the effects of the addiction and create tools and coping strategies for the future.

If you have seen the meth effects described above in your life or in the life of someone you know, we are here to help. We would be happy to give you more information about participating in an intensive outpatient program or medical detox. You can also verify your insurance for treatment with our website.

If you have any other questions about crystal meth addiction and abuse, do not hesitate to contact us today.