Crystal Meth Addiction and Getting Help
Crystal Methamphetamine also known as “Crystal Meth” is an illegal and extremely addictive substance that affects our central nervous system. It can come in many different forms including chunk-like clear crystals or blue-white rocks hence its common nickname “ice” or “glass.” It’s popular at parties and was even once used to keep soldiers awake during WWII. Imagine that, a drug dreamt into circulation by the promise it would keep warriors awake and ready to kill! A super-powered stimulant, like no other, is the reality of today’s meth – never purer, or easier to get ahold of. Readily available in every city and every nation, what was from the 1970’s till 1990’s a drug primarily manufactured and distributed by Hell’s Angels motorcycle gangs throughout the nation, is now the prize many cartels offer to American consumers.
How It’s Made
Crystal Meth is a man-made substance using as a building block the substance pseudoephedrine, a common medication used for treating congestion. Because of this everyday usage, pseudoephedrine is, since the early 2000’s heavily regulated by the Federal Government to ensure it’s not being used improperly.
The home-based meth lab of yesterday has been replaced by “superlabs” in the United States or in Mexico. Meth making, is an incredibly dangerous process; tossing together toxic chemicals to create an uber-pure ready-to-use drug. The ingredients used to make crystal meth are not just toxic, the chemicals are highly volatile and prone to combustion and explosions.
How Meth Makes You Feel
The way you feel while on meth is usually a euphoric-like feeling or a huge rush which is why so many people get addicted while using it. The “high” feeling can last up to 12 hours and the more you use it the higher the dose you will need to get the same feelings with future use. While using the drug, rushes of dopamine are distributed throughout the body which causes these euphoric feelings.
Meth can also make people feel very confident, full of energy, “like a super hero!” all the while decreasing anxiety in the moment.
The Effects of Crystal Meth
- Body temperatures rise with a chance of passing out or even death
- Anxiety, trouble sleeping, mood swings and violence are common
- Aging increases, dull skin, pimples, dry mouth and rotting teeth
- Paranoia and hallucinations
- Higher risk for HIV/AIDS, affects judgement, risky behaviors
Crystal Meth and Your Mouth
Crystal Meth is known to have a significant impact on your oral health. Regular use can cause severe tooth decay and loss of some teeth. There are ingredients used such as drain cleaner, battery acid, and hydrochloric acid that are very unhealthy for your teeth. Other reasons for negative affects to oral health include the constant grinding of teeth, dry mouth, sugary drink cravings and neglecting routine oral hygiene.
Signs of Using
- Does not care about personal appearance
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings or violent outbursts
- Twitching or irregular facial movements
- Dilated pupils
- Hallucinations or paranoia
How to Treat
Crystal Meth addiction recovery is possible but the addiction to this drug needs to be addressed by a professional counselor or with a treatment program. Treating crystal meth addiction requires a detoxification from the drug. During the detoxification process, the drug is removed from the person’s body allowing them to learn how to function without the drug.
Inpatient Vs. Outpatient: There are both inpatient and outpatient types of treatment but they depend on the level of severity of the use of the drug. Meth can be swallowed, smoked, injected or inserted in the rectum to get high. Can you get hooked from using just once? Well, an individual who was only using the drug for a short period of time may have the opportunity to detox successfully in the comfort of their own home. If the severity and use pattern was more acute, and they had been using for a long period of time, then the one addicted might need to go to an inpatient facility and be treated there. The reason for this being that if the person goes through extreme psychological withdrawal symptoms during the detox. While meth “detox” isn’t one that will kill a person when going cold turkey, like alcohol or some prescription drugs, saying goodbye to meth is very hard to do since the craving to use is powerful when the drug is stopped. In these cases, it’s best to allow clinical care and medical professionals help through the detoxification process.
Once a person moves through the detoxification stage then they are able to begin therapy treatments; all the while having a greatly impaired set of brain functions that will get better with time away from the drug. Detox and treatment allows a person to better understand what triggers them to use, how to cope with those urges and how to exist in a pattern of happier, healthier behavior patterns. Once the person gets to this point they are able to live a more stable, fulfilling life.