Crystal meth is dangerous. For some, it is addictive after one time using it. It is part of the opioid family epidemic. Meth poses long term health effects as well as the danger of fatal overdose. Let’s take a closer look at meth.

Crystal meth what is it

It is an extremely strong stimulate where users have been awake for days during binge uses. It is a schedule II substance. The chemicals that make up methamphetamine were actually used for nasal decongestants and in bronchial inhalers, as well as, diet aides for obesity. 

It can be taken by injection, snorting, smoking, or orally. Once it is ingested the user will experience a rush that lasts between five and 30 minutes. The other effects last longer, up to 12 hours, these effects include:

  • amplified activity
  • less appetite
  • a sense of happiness and security

Effects on the brain and body

Meth simulates the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood and movement. It releases dopamine and serotonin, giving the powerful blast that users feel. Even after that dissipates it keeps the brain on alert and the body on edge. Once it has worn off depression is normal since it has depleted the dopamine. People are easily addicted to meth due to the powerful highs and awful lows. As the user regularly uses it, they build up a tolerance and need more and more of it to reach the same high. This makes it extremely addictive. It destroys brain cells leaving brain damage in its wake. 

In addition to physically being addictive, it can be psychologically addictive.  Long term use produces a psychosis similar to schizophrenia. It is categorized by suspicion, scratching at the skin, self-importance, auditory and visual illusions, and sometimes episodes of violence.

Signs and symptoms of meth abuse

These are the signs and symptoms of meth abuse and addiction:

  • rushes of energy 
  • talkativeness 
  • excitement
  • increased nervousness 
  • irritability 
  • paranoia 
  • violent behavior

Tweaking is the most dangerous phase of chronic use and highs it happens after the user has not slept in 3-15 days and becomes paranoid and irritable. The user is the tweaker who craves more meth but can’t achieve the same high, this causes frustration and unstable behavior. This unstable behavior and frustration can lead the tweaker to become dangerous acting violently, have motor vehicle accidents, and commit crimes. Tweakers are highly unpredictable and you will never know what type of behavior they will exhibit in any given situation. 

Then, of course, there is the fact that they can and often do end up in fatal overdoses. 

Recovery

If you or someone you know has started using meth, recovery is possible. 

449 Recovery has a constantly watched detox program that can help the user through withdrawals. Call (855) 435-7449 today to find out more about our in-patient recovery therapies and programs. Here at 449 Recovery, it is our goal to help each patient through the ups and downs of his or her recovery and to teach them the tools they need to reduce the risk of relapse.