What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal Meth or crystal methamphetamine is highly addictive. Crystal meth is a synthetic substance made from a number of toxic chemicals and over the counter drugs. It is a form of the drug methamphetamine, a nervous system stimulant that brings on long-lasting euphoric feelings and alertness. Crystal meth looks like crystal rocks. It is illegal to manufacture, sell, and buy crystal meth. Crystal meth, known as a club drug, remains popular among those who want to party all night.
Methamphetamine can be injected, smoked, snorted and sometimes swallowed. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug available only with a prescription that cannot be refilled. It has limited medical use. During WWII, methamphetamine was used to keep soldiers alert. In the 1950s, doctors prescribed methamphetamine to weight loss and depression. Its addictive qualities resulted in severe restrictions on use and resulted in the Schedule II designation.
Some health risks associated with crystal meth are memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and heart or brain damage. It is so powerful that some people succumb to addiction after one use of the drug. An astonishing variety of toxic compounds, including battery acid, Lye, Draino, antifreeze, acetone, and fertilizer are combined with cold remedies creating the street drug Crystal meth. Pseudoephedrine, found in cold remedies, is the key compound used to make meth.
How does Crystal Meth Work?
Crystal meth works upon the brain in a similar fashion to Cocaine. The use of crystal meth has an immediate impact upon the neuron receptors of the brain and the body responsible for the release of dopamine and the sensation of pleasure. With an immediate sense of euphoria, the addict will experience a decrease in appetite, an increase in respiration, an increase in heart rate, and an increase in blood pressure.
Once the neurons release the dopamine, they are blocked from reabsorbing the dopamine and shutting off the signals for pleasure. The increase of dopamine in the brain, results in brain function changes. These changes can lead to reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning and other cognitive functions.
Crystal meth addiction has a devastating effect upon the body’s systems and can cause serious health problems and social problems.
Signs and Symptoms of Crystal Meth Addiction
The signs of meth addiction are not subtle. They are indeed, devastating to the healthy functioning of the body’s organs, as well as the ability to think and behave rationally. Crystal meth abusers are in danger of the binging and crashing cycle followed by “Tweaking”. When a user is unable to reach a high from the drug a strong sense of loss, confusion, and loss of sense occurs. It is also when the addict feels bugs crawling under the skin. Symptoms of addiction include:
- Immediate sense of euphoria
- Increased heart rate
- Aggressive behavior/violence
- Dry itchy skin
- Rotting teeth
- Premature aging
- Brain damage
- Weight loss
- Paranoid Schizophrenia like behaviors
- Delusions/ hallucinations
- Risky sexual behavior
- Increase in chances of Parkinson’s Disease
Signs and Symptoms of Crystal Meth Withdrawal
A person can be dehydrated, crazed from lack of sleep (up to 15 days) and emotionally wrecked. It is during this time that the cravings become intensified. But, a person can be in withdrawal for up to 3 months before it becomes a reality to him or her. The symptoms progress:
- Anhedonia (loss of feeling any pleasure)
- Intense cravings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme pain
Detox and Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction
Crystal Meth detox is the first step into recovery and breaking the addiction cycle. Because cravings from crystal meth are so intense, many users relapse rather than continue through the sensations that occur during detox. Furthermore, the discomfort of detoxing and the symptoms that can linger for months requires professional monitoring. Substance abuse treatment must begin immediately following detox.
Today, the best treatment for crystal meth addiction is a combination of therapies that include behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and psychological. Additionally, addicts need simultaneously to receive drug and alcohol education, relapse prevention, life skills sessions and other complimentary therapies that build a healthy sense of self, new approaches to leisure and everyday coping skills. Family therapy and 12 Step principles and meetings are seen as crucial components of treatment as well. The National Institute on Drug Abuse promotes this comprehensive treatment model. Treatment Alternatives’ drug addiction program incorporates all aspects of the NIDA model, as well as additional therapies.
Treatment Alternatives’ helps you break the addiction cycle, reduces or eliminates the chances of relapse through its multidisciplinary team approach and continuum of care model. We can provide you with detox, treatment and sober living housing if needed. Those who engage in substance abuse treatment for longer periods of time have better outcomes. Take advantage of this first class program, located in beautiful South Florida and regain your sense of self and the pleasures of being drug free and alive.