The Definition of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth, is formally known as crystal methamphetamine. It has many street names including ice, tina, and glass. Crystal meth often resembles shiny blue-white “rocks” or fragments of glass of varying sizes. It is a colorless form of d-methamphetamine,which is a highly addictive and powerful synthetic stimulant. Crystal meth is commonly abused because of the long-lasting euphoric effect it has on the user. This odorless substance is generally purer than powdered methamphetamine with longer-lasting effects and a more powerful physiological impact.
Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that affects the nervous system and has a similar structure to amphetamine. According to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) it has a high potential for abuse making it classified as a Schedule II drug that can only be obtained via a doctor’s prescription without refills. The medical uses of methamphetamine are limited. The doses prescribed are much lower than what is commonly abused.
How Crystal Meth Affects the Body
Crystal meth boosts the release and stops the reuptake of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter. This causes an over loan of dopamine in the brain, changing the way the body interprets pleasure, motor function, motivation and reward, creating a sense of euphoria. Crystal meth causes chemical changes within the brain, creating an addiction to the drug that results in cravings and withdrawal when stopping its use.
Illicit Crystal Meth Use
Young adults around the world abuse crystal meth, often within the club and party scenes. Crystal meth produces a strong sense of euphoria that lasts up to 12 hours making it a more preferred illicit drug. Many young women will also use the drug because it can bring on rapid weight loss, however when stopping the drug most of the weight will come back, increasing the cycle of crystal meth abuse. This highly addictive drug has also been used by man people suffering from depression because of its uplifting effects. Crystal meth also attracks its abusers by its ability to increase libido and sexual pleasure.
How is Crystal Meth Taken?
Crystal meth is most commonly smoked in glass pipes, similar to the way crack cocaine is taken. It can also be injected, snorted or swallowed. Less commonly the user will insert the drug into his/her anus or urethra.
The Signs and Symptoms of Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction
There are many signs and symptoms associated with crystal meth abuse. Users will experience a wide array of physical and psychological effects that can be life threatening. Not only are they mentally, emotionally and physically effected by methamphetamine use but their personal, educational and work lives are greatly effected.
Regular use of crystal meth causes a tolerance to develop which requires the user to take larger doses to achieve the desired effects. As time going on the user will begin to experience strong cravings for crystal meth, they will also experience withdrawal symptoms. This is why a physical and psychological dependency to crystal meth has set it.
It is not uncommon for someone with an crystal meth addiction to loose their employment, drop out of school and have problems with their friends and family. Many are in financial distress, even homeless because any money they have goes to supporting this horrible habit. For many it requires hitting rock bottom before realizing that they realize they have a problem and need help for it. Many crystal meth addicts will face legal troubles due to their actions while on this illicit and highly addictive drug. Crystal meth addiction takes a person are turns them into someone unrecognizable.
Physical effects of methamphetamine
- Blurred Vision
- Dilated Pupils
- Dry Mouth
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Heart attack
Psychological effects of methamphetamine
- Delusions of grandiosity
- Sensation of power
- Sensation of invincibility
- Increased energy
- Increased libido
- Increased self-esteem
- Psychomotor agitation
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Repetitive and obsessive behaviors
- Amphetamine psychosis
A common symptom of crystal meth abuse is meth mouth. Regular crystal meth users will loose their teeth at an alarming rate and what teeth they do have will be rotten. This informally known as meth mouth.
Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
- Strong cravings for the drug
Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
While crystal meth withdrawal often subsides within days of the last dose, many experience strong cravings and emotional difficulties when quitting this highly addictive drug. This is why many choose to enter into an addiction treatment facility for the help needed to work through the physical and psychological effects of crystal meth.
The treatment that they receive will be tailored to their individual needs, often including talk therapy, exercise, nutritional guidance, and possibly vitamin supplements. Cognitive therapy is important when receiving treatment for a crystal meth addiction. A large portion of the addiction revolves around routines and behaviors, changing them will allow the addict to recovery and prevent relapse.