Dancing With Death—Frightening and Freaky Facts About Crystal Meth Addiction

Who Is Dumb Enough To Try Meth? Classified as a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act, highly addictive and extremely dangerous, Methamphetamine, also commonly known by street names such as “crystal meth,” “speed,” “ice,” “tina,” “crystal,” “white,” “junk,” “zoom,” “glass,” “skank,” “scanti,” or “crank” is a plague on America more deadly than Mers or Ebola.

Dancing With Death—Frightening and Freaky Facts About Crystal Meth Addiction

EscapeMeth.com reports, “Once stereotyped as a 'biker drug,' meth has a broad new consumer base. It is commonly used by the gay community, blue collar workers, young professionals, college students, mostly white males, the Hispanic population, high school students as young as ninth grade, people in their early thirties, rural bikers, street youth, a growing number of Native Americans, service workers, farm and oil workers, employed and unemployed people in their twenties, Asians, both men and women, and cocaine users who can no longer afford cocaine. All types of people use meth. There are no boundaries. It includes all classes and all professions.

Anybody and everybody, meth is not a respecter of persons.

Crystal Meth—What’s the Attraction?

Crystal Meth affects everyone differently, but effects may include:

  • Repeating simple things like itching and scratching
  • Enlarged pupils and dry mouth
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased sex drive
  • Feelings of pleasure and confidence
  • Increased alertness and energy
  • Teeth grinding and excessive sweating
  • Fast heart rate and breathing

Crystal meth now rivals cocaine as the drug of choice in many parts of the United States. Unlike cocaine, meth does not need to be smuggled into the United States. It costs less with similar effects and it can be made in people's homes. The Federal Government recently reported, "While cocaine use continues to slow, meth has taken its place as the most widely abused drug in the United States. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice has named meth the 'drug of choice' among youth.”

  • Meth manufacture creates hazardous waste and toxic fumes that can poison well water, contaminate streams, pollute lakes, and permeate roofs, walls and flooring resulting in fires and explosions.
  • According to meth addiction statistics, it takes less than $1,000 worth of ingredients to make more than $20,000 worth of meth.
  • Household chemicals used to produce, or “cook” Crystal Meth include toxic substances such as drain cleaner, brake fluid, ephedrine, lighter fluid and lye.

A Worldwide Epidemic of Addiction

At first, users experience an intensely pleasurable high and a boost in energy. However, the drug damages brain function and frequently leads to anxiety, insomnia, confusion, mood swings, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, and violent behavior.

DrugFreeWorld.org reports that growing use of Crystal Meth has created a worldwide epidemic of addiction, reporting, “The toxic ingredients in meth lead to severe tooth decay known as 'meth mouth.' The teeth become black, stained, and rotting, often to the point where they have to be pulled. The teeth and gums are destroyed from the inside, and the roots rot away.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the worldwide production of amphetamine-type stimulants, which includes methamphetamine, at nearly 500 metric tons a year, with 24.7 million abusers.

In the United States, the percentage of drug treatment admissions due to methamphetamine and amphetamine abuse tripled from 3 percent in 1996 to 9 percent in 2006. Some states have much higher percentages, such as Hawaii, where 48.2 percent of the people seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse in 2007 were methamphetamine users.”

Crystal Meth Affects the Central Nervous System

Crystal Meth destroys dopamine receptors in the brain, making it difficult or impossible to feel pleasure, love, or joy. Recently published medical research studies indicate that even after a year of abstinence, meth user still experienced impaired memory, decreased motor skills, and a loss of cognitive abilities.

AddictionAcademy.com explains how meth affects the human body, warning, “Methamphetamines affect the central nervous system creating a euphoric feeling. Because of the power of the drug, and the possibility that the drug can be contaminated with foreign substances, meth has significant short-term and long-term side effects. In some cases, like many other powerful drugs, it can be fatal on the first try.”

Ingested, Smoked, Snorted, or Injected—Crystal Meth Kills

A versatile drug to administer, Crystal Meth can be eaten, smoked, snorted, or injected. Typically sold in ¼ gram-$20 to $25 up to 1/8 ounce-$140 to $180, meth is more accessible and a whole lot cheaper than cocaine. Narcotic officers report that an individual can spend $100 for cocaine and have a twenty-minute high while for the same amount of money a meth user can get high for two or three days. The average high from Crystal Meth lasts between 4-12 hours.

Users who elect to inject the drug expose themselves to several deadly risks including contacting hepatitis B and C, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), or a host of other blood-borne viruses. Long-term users who inject Crystal Meth frequently experience scarred or collapsed veins, abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis, kidney or liver disease, or infections of the heart lining and valves.

Dangers of Crystal Meth Overdose

At first, users experience an intensely pleasurable high and a boost in energy. However, the drug damages brain function and frequently leads to anxiety, insomnia, confusion, mood swings, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, and violent behavior.

AllAboutCounseling.com advises, “Crystal meth overdose is most common among addicts who use the drug intravenously, as they may not be able to accurately estimate the amount of the drug that they're using and intravenous drug use is instantaneous. First-time injectors are particularly at risk. It's also possible to overdose by not realizing the strength of the drug being shot; on the other hand, as crystal meth is almost never completely pure, a person may overdose or become poisoned by additives to the drug from a normal non-lethal dose.”

Experts advise, “While not all overdoses are lethal, there is always the possibility that ingesting too much crystal meth can cause death. The drug claims life from all its users, whether it is in years or in mortality.”

Physical Effects of Crystal Meth

Chronic abuse of Crystal Meth wrecks havoc on the human body seriously damaging a person's physical health; restricting blood flow, raising blood pressure, damaging blood vessels, and impairing the body’s ability to repair or heal itself. Damage to small blood vessels in the brain can lead to stroke. Crystal meth can elevate blood sugar to dangerous levels. Rapid weight loss, loss of skin elasticity, and loss of muscle tone significantly contribute to a marked decline in physical appearance. Weeping sores and acne pustules that develop from meth use cause a rapid change in physical appearance, causing a person to look years older.

Physiological Effects of Crystal Meth

Over the past decade, illicit drug manufactures have quickly learned how to produce the deadly drug cheaply and in mass quantities. The chemical composition of Crystal Meth is similar to that of amphetamine, but medical experts advise that meth has a much stronger effect on the body’s nervous system. Like amphetamine, meth reduces hunger pangs, promotes heightened activity and offers a false sense of euphoria and well-being.

CrystalMethTreatment.com explains how meth “hooks” users, stating, “Users of crystal meth talk about the benefits they see in the drug and how these perceived good points made it easy to become obsessively addicted. Many people use meth as a party-enhancement drug because of the intense boost of energy that is its main effect. These users also fall victim to the physiological effects of the drug. Meth directly affects the levels of dopamine in a user's brain. This means that use of the drug makes a user feel happy, excited, and energetic. It is also the cause of the fast, intense addiction that marks a crystal meth addict. Beyond the rush and spike of energy caused by the drug, many others use crystal meth as a means to lose weight because of its appetite suppressant affects.

The effects of crystal meth are not just physical. The drug takes control of the mind, causing irrationality, irresponsibility, child neglect, violence, crime and suicidal actions. The personality of the addict before crystal meth erodes under the effects of the drug and loved ones must watch as the person they love disappears.”

Riding the Back of a Tiger

Cravings for methamphetamine can last several months, or even for years. Meth is more addictive than either alcohol or cocaine and rate of relapse, even amongst those who go through rehab, is nearly 90 percent.

AltamiraRecovery.com notes, “The first step they'll need to take in order to recover is known as detoxification. In many ways, this is a natural cleansing process the body can handle alone, without assistance. But, the process can be incredibly unpleasant, and sometimes, the symptoms are so severe that a relapse to drug use seems reasonable, or even preferable when compared to painful abstinence. By entering a formal detoxification program, people who abuse crystal meth may avoid some of the more unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal, and they may be able to better handle recovery as a result.”

AllAboutCounseling.com notes, “Therapy can be a long process, but it is less expensive than continuing drug use. Long-term crystal meth use can result in serious and permanent physical and psychological symptoms, so addicts should explore treatment options with their doctors or with therapy professionals with a background in drug addiction treatment.”

Recovery experts advise, “As long as those cravings are in place, the person is at serious risk for a relapse to drug use. While there are many medications that can be used to treat addictions to drugs like heroin, the National Institute on Drug Addiction reports that no such drugs have been developed for methamphetamine users. There is no pill a person can take to make the cravings disappear. Instead, the person must learn to use the power of the mind to change behavior.”

Private Crystal Meth Rehab Centers

It is virtually impossible to “beat” an addiction to Crystal Meth without professional help. Residential or inpatient rehab hospitals or centers are indicated for long-term treatment of meth addiction.

Because of the diverse array of physical and mental problems associated with meth use, addiction recovery programs customized to the individual’s specific needs offer the best hope of long-term recovery.

Centers.org advises, “Crystal meth addiction is a serious consequence of drug dependence or abuse, and it requires proper medical attention and rehabilitation. If you or a person you love is addicted to crystal meth, it is important to find the best inpatient crystal meth rehab center facility to treat the addiction. Private crystal meth treatment centers offer the best rehabilitation programs for individuals who are suffering from drug abuse, dependence, and addiction. Changing and giving up addiction is a tough decision, but it ensures a better and healthier future. Once you have made up your mind about giving up addiction or helping a loved one through this process, the next to do is to find out which is the most appropriate treatment center for crystal meth addiction in your area.

Crystal meth addiction is one of the most addictive synthetic drugs. Chronic abuse of this drug can seriously affect a person's physical and mental health. Addiction to this drug requires proper and specialized treatment to reverse its effects of the drug and help the patient maintain drug abstinence. Crystal meth addicts can also show behavioral and psychological changes that need to be monitored to prevent the self-harm, or violence towards other members of the family.

Inpatient rehab provides 24-hour care at a residential facility. The patients' progress and medications are monitored and supervised, allowing the addicted person to recover faster without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. If an emergency situation occurs, there are medical personnel and licensed physicians ready to assist the patient immediately. Inpatient rehab usually costs more and requires the patient to take a break from everyday life, but it ensures complete and safe recovery with a lower chance of addiction relapse.”

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Marlene Affeld

“A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld’s passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle.”

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