How Bad Is Crystal Meth?
The question, “how bad is crystal meth?” may seem to give a different mindset from the usual regarding drug abuse and addiction. However, regardless of whatever comes to mind, never confuse it with the question, “is crystal meth bad?”
Drug abuse and addiction has been a known fact and menace across the entire world, especially in the United States. Any psychoactive drug that is either legal or illegal is generally bad for you. Even the prescription opioids seem to have caused an epidemic that various health entities are struggling to overcome, despite that they are effective in helping patients live with chronic pain. Many cancer patients can attest to this.
It is impossible to abuse a psychoactive substance and fail to pay the price, meaning it is bad regardless of the good in it. The worst thing about these drugs is that they change you in various ways and you may hardly notice at first.
For example, alcohol seems to be ‘harmless’ to some people, especially its consumers. However, if you compare the lives of an alcohol consumer and a non-consumer, you will find very many faults and negative changes in the alcohol consumer’s life as compared to the latter.
Since now you know that all psychoactive drugs are bad for you, it is time to understand the extent of their destruction. Getting to know how bad they are is good for you because it will further discourage you from testing them if you are not a drug abuser.
Crystal meth is extremely bad for you. Its consumption does not only change your body and brain functionality, but also leaves you in a physical and psychological state that is completely disturbing. Moreover, it may leave you with life time scars that you may never recover from.
Yes these other drugs like alcohol or cocaine can leave permanent problems. However, they hardly measure up to the damage that crystal meth does especially if you fall into addiction. This article will explore details regarding crystal meth, for you to have an insight of exactly how bad the drug is.
What is Crystal Meth?
People hardly like dealing with complicated terms that are hard to pronounce correctly. Therefore, crystal meth is the term people use to refer to crystal methamphetamine. It is one among various forms of the methamphetamine drug and thus is quite a concentrated and crystallized substance. In the streets, its consumers and sellers may also refer to it as speed, ice, meth or crank, among other street names.
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that is very addictive and normally causes some long lasting effects on your body. Consumers mainly use it for recreational use, and thus have led to its abuse for several years. Many scholars believe that this drug is in the class as others like cocaine.
Since people know that methamphetamine has the potential to cause a high feeling that can last for hours, they tend to illicitly traffic it so that it can be used for recreational use. The United States is among the nations that continually experiences very high prevalence of illegal methamphetamine together with others parts like Asia.
According to some experts, consuming methamphetamine in low and moderate doses has different results to when take in high doses. In the former, the drug elevates your mood, increases concentration, alertness and energy, especially in fatigued people. Additionally, it reduces appetite of the obese persons and further promotes weight loss.
As this drug increases your energy while taken in low doses, it also increases your sexual desire. Therefore, you may end up engaging in continuous sexual activity, lasting several days. On the other hand, consuming methamphetamine in high doses brings about severe consequences, including acquiring post-acute-withdrawal syndrome. It may persist for months, thus exceeding the usual withdrawal period.
Creation of Crystal Meth
After illicitly trafficking methamphetamine into a certain region, the dealers, who are criminals, create crystal meth. It appears as a rock-like crystal that can either be blue or semi-transparent white in color. The drug dealers make it available to people of all ages, especially those that like to party in clubs. So long as you know the right names to call it and the right places to find it, you can consume it your convenience.
While creating the crystal meth, the sole intent of these dealers is to ensure that you are hooked to the substance. As a result, you will keep going back for more and they will make more money out of destroying your life.
Whether a dealer is a family member or friendly, you must understand that they do not care about you, or your safety and health. They may keep smiling at you to keep you going back for more. Actually they will be happier if you begin increasing your dosage.
As they create crystal meth, these criminals use deadly poisonous chemicals that you will definitely ingest upon consumption. Furthermore, they conduct this manufacturing in small home labs whereby they use hazardous impurities and adulterants to cut the drug.
This way, they are able to spread drug batches thinner and thus are able to make more money. The results of this ‘cooking’ is extremely hazardous to anybody’s health, such that even law enforcement personnel must take the necessary special precautions for protection, as they raid and dismantle these places.
The poisons that the criminals use in creating crystal meth have the potential to contaminate everything in contact, even the air. You can now imagine how bad they are towards your body’s internal organs as well as external.
Consumers of crystal meth can take it in various forms. At times, it all depends on how fast you want to get high and for how long. Many prefer to heat the crystals and use the glass pipes to smoke it. The smaller population of users may opt to crush it so that they can snort or inject it.
If you prefer to smoke, its delivery to the bloodstream is quite fast and so you will become high almost immediately. When compared to crack cocaine, the intensity of high is almost similar although crystal meth lasts longer. This method of crystal meth consumption is known to promote the drugs addictive nature. So even if you will get high very fast, like you wish, you will get addicted to meth at a faster rate.
If you opt to inject it directly into your bloodstream, you will only have to wait for about fifteen to thirty seconds to feel the drug’s effects. However, you may be tempted to share injecting equipment like needles and syringes when engaging in this method.
Consequently, you risk acquiring or spreading viruses like hepatitis C and HIV. Moreover, you also risk damaging your veins and developing clots. When using other consumption methods like swallowing or snorting, you will wait for about fifteen to twenty and three to five minutes respectively to feel the drug effects.
In the first hour of consuming crystal meth using any of the above methods, you may experience intense clarity and pleasure. With the much energy you will have, you may feel that your thinking is clear and thus feel like making good decisions, while planning matters effectively.
These effects take place because crystal meth tends to increase the speed by which messages travel between your brain and body. The methamphetamine increases the dopamine hormone levels by one thousand times above the normal level thus causing this increase in speed.
You will continue to feel the drug’s effects for about four to twelve hours. In case your urine and blood gets tested, the traces will still be detectable up to about seventy-two hours. As the drug effects begin to wear off, you start to come down.
During this period, the feeling you get is directly opposite to what your felt in the first hour of consumption. Instead of making good decisions, you end up making trouble making decisions. The clarity turns to poor concentration and planning also becomes very difficult.
Abuse of Crystal Meth
Abusing crystal meth is continuing to consume the drug, regardless of the effects mentioned above, among others. This means consuming it over and over again and thus resulting into dependence on the drug and later addiction.
In the United States, the abuse of crystal meth is quite prevalent. In 2009, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that about one million and two hundred thousand American adults and children above twelve years abused this drug the previous year, at least once.
In 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration further reported that nearly twelve million US citizens and non-citizens used crystal meth throughout their lifetime. If you combine this data to the rest of the nations affected, you will discover that crystal meth abuse is currently a global problem, since there are about twenty –five million abusers.
Coming Down Effects
The moment you begin to come down, the feelings of being high disappear as mentioned above, and you begin to experience opposite effects. They include:
• Felling down and irritability
• Dizziness, headaches and blurred vision
• Exhaustion and difficulty sleeping
• Hallucinations, paranoia and confusion
As soon as you experience the high feeling from consuming crystal meth for the first time, you will be tempted to consume it again and again. If you know better, you will create a great distance between you and the drug. However, if all you want is to get high by whatever means you will continually abuse it.
Upon regular consumption of crystal meth through whatever means, you are prone to experiencing some side effects. They include the following:
• Significant weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Severe mood swings
• Changes in sleeping patterns
• Unpredictable behavior
• Irregular heart rhythm
• Convulsions or tremors
• Rapid heart rate
• Elevated blood pressure
Aside from these side effects, crystal meth is also capable of causing some short-term problems. They include:
• Scratching and itching
• Teeth grinding
• Increased body temperature
• Dilation of the pupils
• Excessive sweating
• Panic and psychosis
• Irritability, hyper excitability, hallucinations
• Erratic, bizarre and sometimes violent behavior
• Seizures as well as death from high doses
The poisonous chemicals used by criminals in creating crystal meth continually accumulate in your body. As they do so, they damage you bit by and bit and thus cause some long term effects. If you are lucky to live and seek treatment, these effects may heal with time. Unfortunately, some may stick with you for the rest of your life.
They crystal meth long-term effects include:
• Strokes, heart attacks and death resulting from high blood pressure
• Permanent damage of the brain and heart blood vessels
• Destruction of the nose tissue due to sniffing/ snorting
• Lung, kidney and liver damage
• Respiratory problems due to smoking
• Weight loss and malnutrition
• Infectious abscesses and diseases due to injections
• Severe tooth decay, dry mouth
• Regular flu an colds
• Muscle stiffness
• Trouble in concentrating
• Confused exhaustion, apathy and disorientation
• Strong psychological dependence
• Epilepsy, brain damage
Effects on your professional and personal life
As you continually consume crystal meth and experience the above effects, your personal and professional life will definitely change. Chasing the drug, especially if you are dependent on it will consume you completely.
Since meth does cause some brain changes, you will have lower impulse control and your cognitive ability will be damaged. You will begin to stress and devastate your family and your work relationships will also suffer. If you were previously a law-abiding citizen, it may become easier to fall on the wrong side of the law.
The National Association of Counties conducted a survey in 2005. According to the reports obtained, sixty-two percent of the law enforcement agencies experienced cases of higher domestic violence rates, since the involved abused meth. Additionally, seventy-two percent also had increased theft cases, involving meth abusers.
Effects On Unborn Babies
It is unfortunate that some mothers consume crystal meth while pregnant. Such a behavior when bring a baby into the world depicts selfishness because the drugs will directly go to the baby through the placenta and harm the baby.
As pregnant women consume the drug in higher doses, the baby develops an addiction just like the mother. So after birth, such babies must undergo the treatment of withdrawal. Additionally, such babies may also suffer from withdrawal symptoms, low birth weight, behavioral problems throughout their childhood and premature birth. The child may also consume the drug if you breastfeeding and consume it too.
Overdosing on drugs is common among drug abusers. This tends to take place you are likely to consume higher amounts of meth as time goes and you get hooked to the drug. In other drugs like alcohol, binge drinking can cause an overdose, leading to alcohol poisoning.
Overdosing on crystal meth means that you could have taken a strong batch that you are not use to, or highly increased the amount at once. Therefore, your body will definitely react and thus depict some symptoms, which include:
• Breathing problems
• Chest pain and racing heat beat
• Sudden severe headache
• Uncontrolled jerking or fits
• Extreme clumsiness, agitation, confusion
• Heart attack, stroke, death
As a drug abuser, you may think that mixing drugs like crystal meth is good for you because you will get a higher feeling. However, it is detrimental to you and thus it is time you know just how bad mixing drugs is.
Some of the drugs that most crystal meth abusers use in their mixing are prescriptions and over the counter medications. The effects of these combinations are quite unpredictable and thus dangerous. If you mix crystal meth with ecstasy, you will cause an enormous strain on your heart as well as other body parts and thus may have a stroke.
Additionally, mixing with cannabis, alcohol or benzodiazepines also causes a enormous strain on the body, and may also lead to an overdose. The meth stimulant effects are prone to mask the depressant drugs effects, thus increasing the risk of overdosing and death.
Crystal Meth Dependency
The long-term consumption of crystal meth is dangerous because it leads to dependency on the drug. As you continually take this drug, your body definitely builds a tolerance like other drugs do. Therefore, to get the same satisfying feelings, you will tend to increase your dosage, which fuels your body’s meth dependency and risk of overdosing.
The high feelings seem to stop coming despite taking the same amounts since the dopamine receptor activity begins to get severely impaired. This also causes some perceptions of pleasure and decreased happiness, and could later cause permanent cognitive impairments.
Signs Indicating Dependency and Addiction
As you continually consume crystal meth, you will hardly notice the onset of dependency, which directly leads you into addiction within a short period of time. Even when increasing the amounts that you regularly take, you may fail to notice signal that you are beginning to get dependent on the drug.
Therefore, the following signs could be helpful if you begin falling deeper into crystal meth pit. They include:
• Cravings of the drug as soon as you come down
• Spending more time to seek the drug
• Spending more time using the drug and recovering from its effects
• Needing more of meth to acquire the safe effects felt
• Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like extreme hunger, panic attacks, excessive tiredness and irritability
• Constant occurrence of problems in school or at work and at home.
• Continuous consumption regardless of the harmful effects experienced.
Crystal Meth Dependency And Addiction Treatment
Like with every other abused drug, you are free to seek treatment as soon as you accept that you have lost complete control due to dependency and addiction to crystal meth. You may ask a family member or friend to help you if finding the best treatment facilities near you.
However, as you make this decision you should be ready to experience some withdrawal symptoms since you will not consume the drug while under treatment. They include;
• Loss of energy
• Feeling of depression
• Increased appetite
• Itchy eyes
• Intense drug craving
• Sleep difficulties that range from sever insomnia to oversleeping
If you were completely addicted to crystal meth, you will have chronic withdrawal which will last for even twelve to eighteen months. Many have relapsed during treatment because they could hardly bear the withdrawal period. After all, they are very uncomfortable.
Luckily, the medically supervised detox program can help you through the detoxification period, since the doctors ensure that your symptoms are managed and hence prevent a relapse. If you succeed in completing the detox period successfully, you have countered the worst part of the treatment journey.
Next, you can stay in an inpatient rehab program to continue with treatment or even go back home and proceed with structured outpatient program. However, residential rehabilitation is the best option if you are highly addicted to crystal meth. It helps you maintain focus on sobriety and decreases temptations as well as distractions.
If you are not too dependent on the drug and can manage well with the outpatient program, you can as well join crystal meth anonymous in your area. This is a fellowship of people that have a crystal meth consumption problem.
Therefore, they meet once in a while to share strength, experiences and hope with one another so that they can defeat the problem. They do not limit people from joining, so long as you have the desire to quit consuming the drug completely. Such groups are great because you will have people that will not judge you, but instead hold your hand throughout the struggle.
In conclusion, crystal meth is extremely bad for you. Furthermore, it is very dangerous due to the permanent damage that is causes upon abusers. If you are hooked to the drug already, you better begin to seek treatment before you cause more damage to your brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, lungs and liver. These organs play extremely important roles in your life and so you surely do not want to live regretting because your actions caused permanent damage upon them. Begin living a better and sober life today.