There is nothing easy about addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted to some sort of drug, you must have experienced its effect in your life. People who are addicted to substances such as alcohol, opioids, and crystal meth often suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even socially. It affects not only their health but how they form relationships, how well they perform at a job (if they can hold a job at all), and wherein the social ladder they fall.
For any addict, the important thing is not to make them social outcasts but to understand what has led to such a condition, what their condition is, and how they can be helped. The first step to solving any kind of addiction is to understand. So, let’s try and understand the basics of crystal meth, what its usage entails, and why do people get high.
Crystal meth originally meant methamphetamine in the crystal form. But now the word is used to define both this as well as the powdered and tablet form of meth. This drug belongs to a class of drugs called amphetamines. This class of drugs with similar pharmacological properties also includes MDMA (ecstasy).
Meth is a psychostimulant that can have a huge impact on the human central nervous system and its use for even a few weeks can lead to dependency. Both forms of the drugs can be used in different ways. People can snort, swallow, smoke, and inject meth into themselves.
Powdered or tablet form of the drug can be ingested orally and has street names like speed and meth. It is odorless and white. This form easily dissolves in water. The other type of meth or form is called crystal, ice, or glass. Why? Because it looks like bluish, white rocks. This one can be smoked just like crack cocaine. When burnt and used, the meth produces smoke and leaves a residue. The residue is re-smokable and produces similar effects for 12 more hours.
Most people who use meth do it because of the ‘high’ it gives them. The meth high gives the user feelings of confidence, pleasure, and energy. Many people who use this drug are because of the pleasurable feelings that they normally do not experience in their lives. This feeling is the result of increased levels of monoamines (dopamine and serotonin) in the central nervous system.
People often experience euphoria which is enticing and can be addictive. The use of this drug creates a rewarding feeling in the brain, this leads a person to use it again and again. Once addicted, if people stop taking this drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, severe depression, psychosis, and cravings for meth.
Most people report feeling euphoria however, some also experience a kind of ‘blunting’ where their own emotions and feelings are reduced. So, in a way, some are chasing that high while others are trying to escape feelings and memories they do not want.
Meth can have a profound effect on their brain, and the nervous system. The ‘high’ can impact the whole human body with both short-term and long-term effects as well as emotional blunting.
Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of treatments available that have helped people stop abusing drugs and start living productive lives again. Fill out the form below for a free confidential call back.
No drug comes without its side effects and that includes crystal meth. Though it gives the person a joyous feeling, it also has consequences that can affect the body for years to come. If you are an addict, the short-term risks of using this drug can include irregular heartbeat, faster breathing, increased blood pressure and temperature, decreased appetite, and increased wakefulness. Even if they do not sound alarming, these effects can have a lasting impact on the body and might lead to chronic and dangerous health conditions.
If a person has been using too much meth for long periods, they can suffer from problems like anxiety, changes in brain function and structure, memory loss, sleeping issues, intense itching, dental problems, extreme weight loss, paranoia, violent behavior, and even hallucinations. In cases of overdose, people can also die. Fifteen percent of all overdose deaths fall under the category of methamphetamine use alone or in combination with other drugs.
Even if an addict stops using meth, only some effects can be reversed within a year and many are long-lasting and irreversible.
This is a widespread problem. The latest comprehensive official data regarding meth use in the United States was given out in the form of the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The survey showed that nearly 1.6 million people used meth in the past year and 774,000 in the past month. This forms 0.6 and 0.3 percent of the population respectively. The average age of meth users was 23.3 years old.
A sad reality of addiction is that many of the addicts only wake up to their condition once they overdose or have a close encounter with death. The phrase ‘hitting rock bottom’ is an accurate description of this condition. However, if you have a friend or family member struggling with crystal meth addiction, lending an ear or educating them of the consequences of their addiction is never a bad option.
If a person suffers from an overdose, they might have a stroke, heart attack, or organ failure. In the emergency room, the doctors can try to restore blood flow to the brain or the heart and treat the organ that is failing. If the life of the addict is saved, the next step is the hardest and that is to get the person some help. In some cases, people may even be admitted to addiction centers against their will and provided with therapeutic options like cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives to remain drug-free. Just like with any kind of addiction, the key to helping an addict is to be present, learn the signs of addiction, understand their problem, empathize, and help them get the right kind of treatment.
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