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Crystal meth is one of the most concerning street drugs out there, due to its various side effects. That being said, on average, 5% of the seniors in high school have admitted to using crystal meth at least once during their lifetime. At the same time, 3% have used the drug in the past. With the addictive potential of crystal meth, one needs to address the problem as soon as possible.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal methamphetamine (or simply, crystal meth) is a highly addictive drug that hits the nervous system. The substance originates from amphetamine, which used to be sort of legal during WWII, but over time, its structure had changed. Now, crystal meth no longer has any legal uses.
Crystal meth is a man-made stimulant with high potency and a variety of side effects. These side effects are what make crystal meth illegal. Only one meth product is legal today, a tablet used to treat ADHD and obesity. The tablet is weaker in its potency compared to street crystal meth, and it is only given by prescription.
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The Uses of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a drug that is used for recreational purposes and is very popular for its euphoric effects. Some take the drug because it can lead to quick weight loss. This effect is very often short-lived because the weight returns once someone stops using the drug. Plus, as the body becomes accustomed to the drug, the weight loss effect will also be reduced.
The euphoria provided by crystal meth can last up to 12 hours. This is much longer compared to cocaine, a drug that has a similar effect on the body. People with depression often turn to crystal meth as well, due to the mood-enhancing effects that the drug has. Others use it because the drug increases libido function and sexual pleasure.
Aside from the euphoria and the elevated mood that crystal meth brings, a variety of side effects can also occur. To trigger the dopamine rush, crystal meth messes with the function and structure of the brain, particularly those associated with memory and emotions. It is also why a chronic meth user may show cognitive and emotional difficulties.
Some of these brain changes may stick around even after the person has gone through withdrawal. Long-term treatment may push the effects away, but this may take at least a year to achieve.
With repeated use, crystal meth usage may lead to the following side effects, of both physical and mental nature:
- Increased irritability, anxiety, and aggressive behavior
- Insomnia and hyperactivity
- Increased focus and alertness
- Grandeur delusions, associated with a feeling of invincibility and power
- Increased self-esteem, energy, confidence, libido, and sociability
- Paranoia and hallucinations
- Rapid heartbeat, abnormal heart rhythm, and palpitations
- Impulsive skin picking and teeth grinding caused by psychomotor agitation
- Obsessive and repetitive behavior
- Psychosomatic behavior
- Severe weight and muscle loss
- Dental decay is also known as “meth mouth”
- High body temperature, also known as hyperthermia
- High blood pressure
If meth is taken regularly or in a dose that is fairly high, it can lead to psychosis over time. Prolonged use and high doses can also lead to strokes, heart attacks, convulsions, and even death.
Addiction To Crystal Meth
When people use crystal meth, they go through a very powerful rush that gets them hooked right from the start. When the drug is consumed, dopamine is released into the brain, activating the area that is responsible for the feeling of pleasure. As a result, people will end up feeling more energetic and confident – something that may become addictive.
Someone may become addicted to crystal meth from the moment they try it for the first time. To feel that rush of energy and confidence once more, they will do anything. And the more it is used, the more they will start developing a tolerance.
This means that if they want to get the same high as in the beginning, they will have to go for a higher dose. However, a higher dose will lead to a higher risk of side effects. It can also cause an overdose and even death. This is why a crystal meth addiction needs to be addressed before it manages to do too much damage.
Treating Crystal Meth
Crystal meth can lead to a series of consequences, of both mental and physical nature. While there is no treatment specifically designed to address a meth addiction, typical drug treatment may be given to help with the withdrawal.
The first stage of treating crystal meth is to put the person through medical detox. After that comes cognitive-behavioral treatment, to help handle the cravings and cope with the triggers. Motivational incentives will also be used in order to encourage the addict to abstain from further consumption
Recovery At Real Deal Sober Living
If you or a loved one is dealing with a crystal meth addiction, then you need to reach out for help as soon as possible. Real Deal Sober Living has the means to help you recover with as little discomfort as possible.
The manner of treatment will be chosen based on the needs of the patient. If the addiction is long withstanding, then inpatient treatment along with individual therapy may be recommended. This is because a long-term addiction may have caused serious damage to the body, and medical supervision may be necessary.
However, if the person has only been addicted for a short time, outpatient therapy may be more than enough. Depending on the preferences, individual therapy or support groups may also be added to the program. Behavioral therapy is the main focus here, as the main problem is the psychological aspect of the addiction.
A crystal meth addiction can do a lot of damage to one’s body. This is why it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. At Real Deal Sober Living, we can offer you the help that you need to get cleaned up. So, contact us today and we’ll guide you towards the right path!