Facts About Crystal Meth Addiction and Treatment
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive, man-made stimulant. Meth manufacturers work in unlicensed laboratories around the country, extracting ingredients from stimulant drugs and combining them with other chemicals to boost their potency.
Meth cooks may combine amphetamines with battery acid, antifreeze, drain cleaner or a number of other toxic chemicals to increase the drug’s strength. Meth is an extremely harmful illicit drug that has serious physical and mental health effects on users. Find out how to stop meth addiction before it leads to fatal consequences.
Crystal Meth vs. Regular Meth
Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine. Also called glass or ice, crystal meth is a popular party drug. Meth cooks make crystal meth with pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in many cold medications to ease congestion. Crystal meth comes in clear crystals or shiny blue-white rocks. Users may smoke crystal meth, swallow it, snort it or inject it into a vein.
Like regular meth, crystal meth generates a powerful feeling of pleasure immediately after use. The only difference in crystal meth is its formation: Slow crystallization leads to larger, more pure crystals. Fast crystallization makes smaller, less pure crystals.
Health Effects of Crystal Meth Use
Among all stimulant drugs, meth has some of the most severe effects on the body and brain of the user. In the short term, crystal meth creates a feeling of energy and well-being, pushing the user beyond personal physical limits. This can lead to a severe crash when the meth wears off, causing a physical or mental breakdown.
Short-Term Effects of Meth Use
Meth decreases the user’s appetite, leading to weight loss and nausea. It can also cause:
Meth users often exhibit bizarre and erratic behaviors, as well as increased heart rate and dilated pupils. High doses of meth can cause convulsions, seizures, and death.
Long-Term Changes in Meth Users
Long-term effects of crystal meth and regular meth include:
- Permanent damage to the heart, brain and blood vessels
- High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Respiratory problems (if smoked)
- Infectious diseases (if injected)
- Severe tooth decay
- Brain damage
Long-term meth use can also cause stroke and epilepsy. Habitual meth users can often be identified by their physical appearance: They can look prematurely aged, shrunken and/or malnourished.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
Consistent crystal meth use can build up a person’s tolerance to the drug, leading to the need to consume it more and more. When a meth addict tries to stop using the drug, he or she undergoes withdrawal, a condition that can be deadly.
During methamphetamine withdrawal, the individual may experience:
- Trouble sleeping
- Shaking and tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart palpitations
- Respiratory failure
Professional help is necessary during meth withdrawal to avoid fatal complications. Detox treatment centers can use medications and other means to ease a crystal meth user off the drug without suffering seizures or death.
Crystal Meth: Usage Statistics
Meth has been a rampant problem in the United States for decades. Despite its terrible effects on the body and the dangers involved in its creation, crystal meth continues to be one of the most popular party drugs on the market.
The euphoric effects of meth keep users coming back time and time again, using larger quantities of the drug to try to achieve the same high as their first use. If left without treatment and rehabilitation, a crystal meth user has a high chance of dying from an overdose or a meth-related health condition.
To put the prevalence of methamphetamine use in the U.S. into perspective, here are a few statistics from various national surveys and reports:
- According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more than 1 million people aged 12 and older used meth nonmedically in 2013. That same year, about 12.2 million people reported using meth at least once in their lifetime.
- Crystal meth reportedly brings in a revenue of about $13 billion on the black market in the U.S. every year.
- In 2011, there nearly 103,000 meth-related emergency department visits in the country, an increase from just under 95,000 in 2010. These jumps in visits followed a 52 percent decrease from 2004 to 2009.
- There were nearly 50,000 treatment center admissions primarily for meth addiction in 2012, compared to roughly 38,000 in 2011.
- In 2014, just under 570,000 of the reported 1.6 million people who were nonmedical stimulant users admitted to using meth.
Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment Is Available
Crystal meth is highly addictive, with powerful effects on the mind and body. Some users can become addicted after using crystal meth just once. If you or someone you know is struggling to fight crystal meth addiction, please seek help from The Treatment Center by The Recovery Village or a similar rehab facility.
At The Treatment Center by The Recovery Village in Florida, our knowledgeable professionals have several years of experience in helping meth users start the road to long-term recovery. Crystal meth addiction is a difficult battle to fight alone. Leave your recovery in the hands of a professional rehabilitation center for your best chance of success.
Take Recovery Serious and Seek the Necessary Professional Help! The Treatment Center by The Recovery Village Is Here to Help You or a Loved One Overcome Crystal Meth Addiction!