Crystal Meth

Crystal Meth is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is developed from amphetamine. The chemical name is Methylamphetamine or Desoxyephine. In its chemical form, it is referred to as Meth. In its crystalline form, it looks a lot like natural crystal hence the name Crystal Meth. Other popular street names for the drug include:

  • Chalk,
  • Crank,
  • Crystal Glass
  • Go-Fast
  • Hot Ice,
  • Ice
  • Poor Man’s Cocaine
  • Quartz
  • Shabu,
  • Shards,
  • Speed,
  • Stove Top
  • Uppers

Drug Classifications

The FDA has given Crystal Meth a Schedule II classification. Physicians write non-refillable prescriptions for this drug at much lower dosage than used illegally. Legally, Meth is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for weight loss. Its Schedule II classification also mean that it is very addictive and therefore has a high potential for abuse.

Crystal Meth is also categorized as a stimulant drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The stimulating effects of crystal meth produces an intense high, increased productivity and exaggerated self-confidence.

Use and Abuse of Crystal Meth

Meth can be dissolved in water or alcohol and taken intravenously. It can also be smoked in glass pipes or snorted. Injecting or smoking crystal meth makes a fast and direct impact on the brain. With these methods, users experience an immediate and powerful rush that can last up to six or eight hours. However, the feelings of euphoria last for only a few minutes. Because the euphoric effects are so brief, this may people tend to abuse the drug in pursuit of the high. This activity amps up the user’s tolerance level which leads to dependency. In fact, it only takes a small dose Crystal Meth to cause a long term destructive addiction.

Effects and Symptoms

The stimulating effects of Crystal Meth makes it a sought after drug for women who want to lose weight quickly, those who burn the candles at both ends and need to be alert for work or school. It is popular among men because it increases libido and heighten sexual pleasure. Others use it for mood alteration. People suffering from the symptoms of depression find temporary relief because of Crystal Meth’s stimulating effects that release neurotransmitters in the brain.

Crystal Meth use releases Dopamine rapidly in the reward and pleasure regions of the brain. However, although the euphoria or high is short lived, the stimulating effects of the drug can last up to 12 hours in some cases. As the body builds up a high tolerance to the drug this relapsing disease begins a cycle of obsessive and compulsive seeking and use of the drug. The cravings can be so overwhelming that it often lead addicts into criminal activity to support their habit.

Long term use of Crystal Meth has negative mental and physical effect on the body such as.

  • Extreme weight loss leading to emaciation,
  • Severe dental problems also referred to as meth mouth
  • Impaired cognition and memory Loss
  • Kidney, Liver and lung and damage
  • Neurological and Cardiac Damage
  • Susceptible to HIV and Hepatitis
  • Paranoia, aggression, hallucinations and violent behavior
  • Immune system deficiency that hinder the body’s healing processes

Indicators of Meth use include:

  • People using Crystal Meth are overly active, they may begin to display obsessive and compulsive behavior often repeatedly performing a common task.
  • The stimulation from the drug makes them excessively talkative and restless; unable to sit still.
  • The will have rapid eye movement and dilated pupils.
  • Perfuse sweating is a result of a rise in body temperature caused by the drug. During a Crystal Meth overdose, body temperature can rise high enough to cause brain damage or death.
  • Visible signs of tooth decay caused from nervous tooth grinding, saliva deficiency and lack of proper dental hygiene.
  • Constant itching of the skin, bleeding and sores that take a long time to heal.
  • When the drug is not taken users may experience withdrawal symptoms such as Irritability, difficulty sleeping, strange nightmares, cravings, and anxiety.

History of Crystal Meth

The evolution of crystal meth began in 1887 in a German laboratory as Amphetamine. Later the Japanese converted amphetamine into its more potent crystalline powder known as Methamphetamine. Meth was not only stronger, but soluble in water which made it possible to be administered intravenously. Because the drug was such a powerful stimulant, it was widely used during World War II by both the sides to help soldiers stay awake.

After the war, use of the drug became even more prevalent. Physicians also began prescribing it for patients with obesity and depression. Anyone who wanted to be alert such as truck drivers, college students pulling all night study sessions and athletes were reaching for Crystal Meth. Not surprising, abuse and addiction soon reached epidemic proportions.

In 1970, in an effort to address the wide spread use, the US government made crystal meth illegal for most uses. Use of the drug declined. American motorcycle gangs and people living in rural communities became the primary users. Twenty years later, Crystal Meth regained some of its appeal when Mexican drug dealers began to manufacture high volumes; up to fifty pounds at a time in two to three days. Other smaller dealers began setting up Meth labs in residential neighborhoods. The drug was produced on regular household stove tops. One of the drugs street names Stove TopĀ evolved out of this development. The proliferation of these new manufacturers has made Crystal Meth profitable and more readily available today.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

The most effective treatment for this addiction according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse is a comprehensive therapy program. Studies show that a treatment approach that encompasses cognitive behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, and 12-Step and contingency management interventions can keep Meth addicts from recurring relapse events.

Contact us today for more information on our treatment programs.

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