Crystal Meth: The New Crack Cocaine?
Crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth, is a white, crystalline stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. The drug is highly addictive and is classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the U.S. government. Crystal Meth creates feelings of euphoria, pleasure, high energy and over-confidence. The surge of energy that people addicted to crystal meth experience may cause them to push their body too hard, causing physical and mental breakdown.
Crystal Meth: The New Crack Cocaine?
Common street names for the drug are: meth, speed, crystal, G-Unit, chalk, tina, crank, Go Fast, ice and glass. According to U.S. government statistics approximately 13 million Americans used methamphetamines in 2008, and the popularity of crystal meth is growing.
Crystal meth releases dopamine into the brain and blocks its reuptake, resulting in high levels of dopamine remaining in the brain. Normally, dopamine affects how the brain perceives and experiences pleasure, reward, motivation and motor function. Crystal meth changes the brain’s normal functioning and affects verbal learning and motor skills. Areas of the brain associated with memory and emotions become severely damaged structurally and functionally, causing cognitive and emotional problems.
The drug is a dangerous, potent poison that causes serious health problems and sometimes death. Some of the adverse effects that crystal meth drug addicts may experience include: memory loss, psychotic behavior, aggression, heart and brain damage, extreme loss of appetite leading to anorexia, insomnia, hyperactivity, nausea, delusions, irritability, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, increased heart and blood pressure, irregular heart beat, liver and kidney damage, extreme mood swings, lung and brain damage, violent behavior, panic, psychosis, increased libido, respiratory damage, malnutrition and severe tooth decay, disorientation, apathy,paralysis, loss of speech, dementia, exhaustion and depression. Crystal meth causes damage to the brain’s blood vessels which can lead to a stroke. Crystal meth drug addicts may also experience seizures and death from overdose.
A New Wave of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth has had a traditional popularity among white, male, blue-collar workers, country boys, motorcycle gangs, rednecks, ravers and long-distance truck drivers. Many of these people started to manufacture a watered-down version of the drug themselves after learning how to do it on YouTube. As popularity of the drug increased, so did the involvement of the Mexican drug cartels who are now manufacturing the drug fast and cheap.
Today, crystal meth is crossing the southern U.S. border in record numbers. The influx of crystal meth in such high volume is causing a flood of the drug in many cities of the U.S. and its popularity is reaching epidemic proportions. Use of the drug has become very popular in urban area inner cities and it is taking over the crack cocaine market with its high prices. The new wave of crystal meth’s popularity is creating family problems that are affecting young children physically and psychologically. The violent behavior of a crystal meth drug addict is sometimes directed at small children in the household.
The State of California is saturated with the drug, which sells for $3,200.00 a pound on the street. It has become a very lucrative market for drug dealers. The crystal meth coming from Mexico is pure and potent and its use is prevalent in the Black-American community of Los Angeles. The ravages of the drug are beginning to destroy the community. The first step to fight back is to generate an awareness of the enormity of the problem and then collectively act.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.