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01 Dec Understanding Crystal Meth Addiction

Welcome back to our Understanding Addiction Series. If you’d like to review our previous topics, you can do so here: alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. Today we will be seeking to understand crystal meth addiction. Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant drug. It is a white crystalline drug that people snort, smoke, swallow, or inject. It was developed for use in nasal decongestants and much like its parent drug, amphetamine. However, methamphetamine is more dangerous, as more drugs will enter the brain, producing longer lasting and more harmful effects on the body. During World War II, the drug was widely used to keep troops awake and given to suicide pilots. Methamphetamines are classified as a Schedule II Stimulant, and are sometimes used in medication used to treat ADHD and in some weight loss treatments, but very rarely.

Meth is a synthetic substance mixed from amphetamine and other chemicals. Cold and flu drugs are often used to produce meth. Meth is sometimes mixed with dangerous substances such as battery acid, drain cleaner, and antifreeze. Some street names for the drug are: meth, chalk, ice, stove top, Mexican crack, redneck cocaine, crank, glass crystal, speed, crystal, pervitin (in the Czech Republic), Yaba (in Southeast Asia), and glass.

Dangers of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is one of the most addictive drugs — you can become addicted after just one use — and it is also one of the most dangerous. Within five years of use, 90% of meth users end up dead, in jail, or severely brain damaged. The energy and sense of well-being that the drug provides is not grounded in reality, and many users will push themselves faster and further than you should ever go. After use, meth users will experience a dangerous crash, that includes a complete physical and mental breakdown. Short term effects include : loss of appetite, increased heart rate, dilation of pupils, disrupted sleep, nausea, bizarre and erratic behavior, hallucinations, irritability, hyperexcitability, panic, psychosis, seizures and even death. Long term effects include : damaged lungs, kidneys and liver, permanent damage to the blood vessels in the heart and brain, high blood pressure, disease, malnutrition, tooth decay, depression, psychosis, confusion, and death.

If It’s so Dangerous, Why Do People Use It?
An excellent question. If someone knew what crystal meth could do to them, why would they being using it in the first place? Many are misinformed about the dangerous effects of the drug. When drug dealers, or pushers, offer the drug to people for the first time, they do not include the dangerous effects. They lie about the content of the drug, about how “safe” it is, how they never mix it with the other harmful substances, and other things. Many people start using it because they hear of its positive effects: the high, the extra energy it will give you, and that it helps people step outside of their comfort zone, especially when it comes to sexual inhibitions. While these things are true, (crystal meth increases the dopamine amount in the brain nearly three times as much as other drugs, like cocaine do), there is no mention of the dangerous effects that the drug can have. Most drug dealers lie about the substances they sell.

Author: Chasity Edwards

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