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 endeavor 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.

crystal meth

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 buildup. 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 behaviors. Additionally, methamphetamine decreases an individual’s inhibitions, which could cause them to engage in risky sexual behavior, 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 center 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:

  • Insomnia

  • Confusion

  • Paranoia

  • Strange sensations on the skin and body

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

The medical detox process can vary in length depending on the amount that was being used, the presence of other drugs in the individual’s system, as well as the existence of any underlying co-occurring disorders. Withdrawal from crystal meth usually takes 7 to 10 days, but it can last for up to a month depending on the severity of the addiction. Once stabilization has taken place, the individual must undergo an intensive drug treatment program, which includes a combination of individual and group therapy, life and coping skills training and relapse prevention education, among other essential services.

It is important to note that even though individuals may begin to feel better after a few weeks, many meth addicts will experience extended periods of depression and despair when first getting sober, which could last for a few months. The period of 6 weeks to 4 months after last use is usually the period where those in recovery relapse, and so it is critical that they engage in an intensive outpatient treatment program and aftercare to help manage their recovery.

Seeking Treatment For Alcoholism or Addiction

If you find that you cannot stop using drugs or alcohol even though you would like to, then you may be suffering from an addiction. Addiction is an actual, recognizable disease and as such, your inability to stop on your own should not be a cause for shame or guilt. There are millions of people every year who need to seek help for addiction and alcoholism, and many have made it through their struggles to a life of recovery. So if you think you need help, then call the professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today at 1-877-978-3148. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call, to help you in any way they can.