Few drugs will result in a deadly addiction as quickly as crystal meth. This powerful street drug is used frequently by countless millions and leads to a number of devastating medical conditions. It is also responsible for the death of thousands of people around the world, and that is why it is important for everyone to understand this drug and how it affects the body. Here is a closer look at crystal meth, how methamphetamines affect the body, and how an effective treatment program could make all the difference.
Crystal meth is a very potent and devastating street drug that can be taken by injection, snorting, or smoking. In its most common form, it is a white crystalline substance and is called by a number of different names depending on one’s location. Some of the most common nicknames for crystal meth include ice, crank, and glass. Many individuals experiment with this drug due to the immediate effect that it has on the body. Some specialists classify it as a “club drug” due to the energy that it gives the user, but those that experiment with this drug may not realize that a mental addiction could take place after a single use.
The Stages of An Addiction
Those that use this drug or know someone that is addicted to crystal meth should understand that an addiction can take place over any period of time. Drug use may remain a common habit, only turning into a deadly addiction after months or even years. Other users could become mentally addicted to crystal meth after a single use. The most common stages of an addiction begin with the initial experimentation which will transition into common use, heavy use, and finally an addiction. The key feature of a true addiction is the fact that the user understands the negative impact the drug has on their life, but continues to use the substance.
Immediate Effects of Crystal Meth Use
Upwards of 2 percent of people over the age of 12 have used this drug within the past year according to modern research, and this means that many users may not know how badly they are harming their bodies. Initially, the drug will result in the immediate release of various natural chemicals within the brain. This is often experienced as a rush of powerful feelings that are described in a number of different ways. Some addicts describe it as a rush of energy while others say they have immediate feelings of euphoria. Unfortunately, the effects do not last long and the damage to one’s body will be long lasting.
Due to the energy that users feel, many individuals will push themselves further and harder, often neglecting basic human needs such as sleeping or eating. When the meth eventually wears off, most users will experience what is known as a “crash.” This crash can be catastrophic and individuals could sleep or be in a state of stupor for days on end. The body will also struggle to produce important chemicals as the users feel sadness, loneliness, and emptiness.
After using this drug for multiple weeks or months, there are often physical signs that can become dramatically apparent. Crystal meth acts as an appetite suppressant, so most users will experience the loss of weight. Due to the body no longer receiving adequate nutrients, long-term users become very susceptible to illnesses, and the body’s immune system will no longer work optimally. Using crystal meth will also increase one’s heartbeat as well as their blood pressure. Immediately, this may not have of an effect unless the user overdoses on the crystal meth. Unfortunately, even just a few weeks of consistent use could damage the individual’s veins as well as their heart, increasing their risk of aneurysms, strokes, and other cardiovascular and heart issues.
The longer that the individual uses the substance, the more pronounced the side effects will become. Various glands around the body could be permanently damaged meaning that the body can no longer produce chemicals such as dopamine or adrenaline. Other long-term effects include irritability, delusions of grandeur, an inability to grasp abstract ideas, memory loss, and hallucinations.
Crystal Meth Detox Treatment
It is important for all those addicted to meth to understand that it is never too early or too late to seek out assistance. No addict should ever feel as if they must hit “rock bottom” before they can begin the process of rebuilding their life. The longer that an individual struggles with their addiction, the higher the chances of serious, and potentially deadly, accidents taking place. This includes both homicidal and suicidal thoughts due to an extreme mental and physical addiction to the substance.
There are a number of options for treatment for crystal meth addiction, and addicts should keep in mind that no single treatment program or rehab center is right for everyone. There are often a wide array of issues taking place that will need to be treated at the same time. Depending on the average amount of crystal meth used and the duration of the addiction, patients may need to discuss a detox program with their primary healthcare provider or an addiction therapy specialist. This period is especially dangerous and could require any number of treatment options while the body is finally expelling the last of the toxins.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment
The most effective addiction treatments will take a multi-faceted approach to the addiction. Not only will the individual learn ways to deal with the symptoms of their disease, they will also need to take a look at the root causes of their addiction. Some of the most popular options for addiction treatment include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, art therapy, changes to one’s diet, exercise, meditation, and a number of prescription and holistic remedies.
There are very few drugs in the world as powerful and dangerous as crystal meth, and all users put themselves at risk every single time they inject, snort, or smoke this drug. Luckily, these treatment and detox options are more effective than ever and addicts will be given the tools that they need to permanently beat their addiction and create a healthy and fulfilling life.