09 Mar What Is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth, also known as crystal methamphetamine, and informally as ice, tina, or glass, is a colorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful synthetic stimulant which is highly addictive. This odorless substance is abused because it has a long-lasting euphoric effect on the user. Crystal meth is generally purer than powdered methamphetamine, and has a longer-lasting effect, as well as a more powerful physiological impact.Crystal meth resembles shiny blue-white "rocks" or fragments of glass of varying sizes, hence its name. Put simply: The chemical n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine (C10H15N) is known as methamphetamine – and in its crystalline form it is known as "meth". According to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant drug that affects the nervous system; it has a similar structure to amphetamine. It has a high potential for abuse, which is why it is classified as a Schedule II drug and can only be obtained via a doctor's prescription, which cannot be refilled. Even medically, methamphetamine has limited uses – doses prescribed by doctors are considerably lower than those taken by abusers. Who uses crystal meth? Crystal meth tends to be used by young adults who frequent dance clubs and parties. Some people, particularly females, may take crystal meth because it can bring about rapid weight loss, even though its effects tend to be short-term; the moment you stop, most of the weight will usually come back on. Also, the body gradually becomes more tolerant to meth, so the weight loss effect becomes less. Some people prefer crystal meth to other illicit drugs because the sense of euphoria it gives lasts up to 12 hours (depending on how it is taken), a much longer effect than, say cocaine. There are cases of people with depression who take methamphetamine for its uplifting effect. Others, may be attracted by the increased libido and sexual pleasure often associated with this drug. Health authorities worldwide really don't know exactly how many people take crystal meth, simply because it is illegal, so collecting reliable data is challenging. A Michigan University Study (Monitoring the Future Survey), estimated that almost 5% of high school seniors in the USA had tried crystal meth at least once, while 3% had done so during the previous 12 months. How is crystal meth taken? It is most commonly smoked in glass pipes, in much the same was as crack cocaine is taken It may be injected It can also be snorted Some may swallow it The user may also insert it into his/her anus or urethra (much less common) What does methamphetamine do to the body? Methamphetamine boosts the release and stops the reuptake of dopamine, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical). This results in a build-up of dopamine in the brain – a common feature of many abused drugs. Dopamine plays an important role in how the brain experiences and interprets pleasure, motor function, motivation and reward. The dopamine rush in the brain's reward regions gives the abuser a sense of euphoria, which is experienced soon after taking the drug. Those who abuse methamphetamines experience considerable changes in how their brains function. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, brain imaging studies on chronic methamphetamine abusers found that their dopamine system activity had changed in such a way as to seriously undermine their verbal learning and motor skill. Recent studies also found that chronic abusers' brain areas linked to emotion and memory were severely affected structurally and functionally. This may explain why so many chronic methamphetamine abusers have emotional and cognitive difficulties. Abusers who repeatedly take methamphetamine have a high risk of becoming addicted, especially when chemical and molecular changes occur in the brain. Some of these brain changes are still there long after the abuser has stopped. Experts say that in the majority of cases, such brain changes do reverse after long periods of abstinence (at least one year). What are the physical and psychological effects of meth? Below is a list of the physical and psychological effects from methamphetamine: Physical effects of methamphetamine: Anorexia – lack of appetite Arrhythmias – abnormal heart rhythm Vision may become blurry Bradycardia – abnormally slow heartbeat Constipation Diaphoresis – profuse sweating Diarrhea Dilated Pupils Dizziness Dry Mouth Flushing Headache Hyperactivity Hypertension – raised blood pressure Hyperthermia – the body overheats (elevated body temperature) Hypotension – low blood pressure Insomnia – difficulty getting to sleep, or staying asleep Numbness Palpitations – sensation of pounding or racing heart Restlessness Tachycardia – abnormally rapid heartbeat Tachypnea – rapid breathing Twitching Tremors Dry skin Itchy skin Acne Pallor – paleness In chronic cases, or when doses are very high: convulsions, stroke, heart attack, and even death. Psychological effects of methamphetamine: Aggressiveness Alertness Anxiety Concentration Delusions of grandiosity, sensation of power, sensation of invincibility Dermatillomania – compulsive skin-picking Hallucinations Increased energy Increased libido – enhanced sexual desire Increased self-esteem Irritability Psychomotor agitation (related to body movements associated with mental activity) Psychosomatic disorders – body symptom/ailment caused by a mental disturbance Self-confidence Sociability Repetitive and obsessive behaviors Paranoia When taken regularly or in high doses there may be amphetamine psychosis A person withdrawing from crystal meth may have the following symptoms: Agitation Anhedonia – absence of pleasure, or inability to experience pleasure Anxiety Fatigue Hunger – most addicts put on weight when they give up crystal meth Insomnia Moodiness Strong cravings for the drug This list can be very daunting. However, there is a way out. There is a way for those struggling with addiction to meth and other substances to get help. Its a process that begins with a desire to get sober. At Addiction Recovery Group, we provide a safe haven away from drugs, alcohol and peers that keep people in their addiction. Addiction Recovery Group focuses on restoring lives one step at a time through intensive residential treatment. We provide 60 days of residential treatment and 90 days of aftercare for adult men and women. Our programs focus on the whole person – mind, body and spirit. We have a powerful healing environment where our clients participate in 30 hours of group work and 2 individual therapy sessions a week. Our beautiful locations in the Wasatch Mountains and at Zion Park give our clients the opportunity to engage in rich experiential activities and therapy. As they engage in peer-related experiences they find the accountability and empowerment to begin to overcome their addictions. There is a way out…one step at a time. Call and talk with a Addiction Specialist 24/7 888.91.REHAB or 888.917.3422.