Facts About Crystal Meth
What Should I Know About Meth?
Crystal meth is a stimulant drug that is extremely addictive and can cause addiction within weeks. Most users are between the ages of 15 and 40, and it may be abused with other drugs. Risks of meth use are insomnia, depression, psychotic symptoms, skin and teeth problems, and brain damage. Recovery from meth use can take up to two years and can include medications and removing the person from places where meth is used.
Crystal meth is the common name for methamphetamine in its crystal form. It can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected, and in all forms powerfully affects the central nervous system.
It suppresses the appetite, increases energy, and triggers a euphoric rush soon after entering the body. Its effects begin almost immediately when injected, smoked or snorted, and when taken orally begins to work within 15 or 20 minutes. The faster the drug is absorbed into the body, the more powerful its effect, and the greater the risk for addiction. In fact, crystal meth is commonly considered one of the most addictive drugs available, often causing dependency within only a few weeks of use.
Who Takes Crystal Meth?
Historically, use of and addiction to crystal meth has been most prevalent among younger people – generally between the ages of 15 and 40 – who are involved in the rave scene. Raves are essentially all-night parties, often held at after-hours clubs or alternative spaces. Crystal meth is frequently associated with other so-called “club drugs” such as Ecstasy and ketamine. Nonetheless, it seems that the use of crystal meth is moving outside this particular demographic, and becoming more widespread within other sections of the general population. A 2009 study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 1.2 million Americans over the age of 12 had used crystal meth at least once in the previous year.
Risks of Taking Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is one of the most powerful illegal drugs out there. The risks associated with abuse of this substance, include the following:
- Anxiety, insomnia and depression
- Psychotic symptoms, sometimes including violent behavior, which can last even after discontinuation of the drug
- Cognitive damage and confusion
- Problems with skin and teeth, cardiovascular issues, convulsions and death
- A combination of increased libido and reduced inhibition, which can lead to risky sexual behavior and result in HIV and hepatitis infection
Recovering From Crystal Meth Addiction
Despite the intense addictiveness of methamphetamines, treatment and recovery are possible. In fact, the first step to recovery is knowing and believing that it can be done. If you are a friend or family member of someone struggling with crystal meth addiction, it is important for you to be ready to help as soon as that person is ready to quit. Recovery from addiction can begin anywhere; it doesn’t need to be at a hospital or clinic. The first step in overcoming addiction is to get as far away as possible from the drug, and to stay away from anyone you know who uses it and from any places where you can obtain it. To learn more about how you can break your addiction to crystal meth, give us a call.
Things to Keep in Mind About Recovery
Kicking the crystal meth habit is difficult, but it can be done. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Recovering from your addiction can take as long as two years.
- Sometimes medication is a necessary part of treatment.
- Support from friends and family is essential.
- Crystal meth is toxic to your body and brain, but you can begin to heal as soon as you stop taking the drug.