Drug abuse is a huge problem, not only in the US but also around the world. One of the most abusive drugs is methamphetamine, or “meth.” Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine. It is just one form of the drug methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.
In comparison to similar stimulants, much higher levels of methamphetamine enter the brain, making it a more potent stimulant drug. It also has longer lasting and more harmful effects on the central nervous system. Methamphetamine has many street names, such as speed, meth, and chalk. Methamphetamine hydrochloride, the crystal form inhaled by smoking, is referred to as ice, crystal, glass, and tina.
According to the Foundation for a Drug Free World, methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (inhaling through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some even take it orally, but all develop a strong desire to continue using it because the drug creates a false sense of happiness and well-being—a rush (strong feeling) of confidence, hyperactivity, and energy.
Users also experience decreased appetite. These drug effects generally last from six to eight hours, but can last up to twenty-four hours. The first experience might involve some pleasure, but from the start, methamphetamine begins to destroy the user’s life. More details about Meth abuse is at this website: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/crystalmeth.html .
There are many warning signs that a person may be addicted to methamphetamine. The physical appearance of a person using methamphetamines may provide several key clues:
· Skin picking: methamphetamine addicts are known to obsessively pick at their skin. The marks left by this picking may look similar to an extreme case of acne, often leaving open sores on the face.
· Skin crawling: meth addicts also often complain about having crawling skin, a disorder known as formication.
· Tooth decay: Another common sign is tooth loss or tooth decay, referred to as meth mouth.
· Hair loss: due to the lack of nutrients in an addict's body as well as the dangerous chemicals they ingest, hair breakage frequently occurs as well.
Crystal meth has become more popular because it is easily produced in home labs using store-bought materials. It is highly volatile in the production stage. Symptoms of meth abuse include:
· increased attention and decreased fatigue
· increased activity and wakefulness
· increased talkativeness
· decreased appetite
· euphoria and experiencing a rush
· increased respiration
· rapid/irregular heartbeat
Once ingested, it creates fierce cravings, so physical dependence can start immediately. When you are physically dependent on a drug, it’s extremely difficult to voluntarily stop using. Entering an accredited drug treatment center that specializes in this type of drug addiction is the best way to succeed at sobriety. Some symptoms of withdrawal may include:
· Tingling sensations on the skin
Methamphetamine affects the brain and can create feelings of pleasure, increase energy and elevate mood. Methamphetamines give someone the ability to stay awake and do continuous activity with less need for sleep. Methamphetamines, like regular amphetamines, also suppress a person's appetite and are sometimes used by people trying to lose weight quickly, according to this website: http://www.timberlineknolls.com/drug-addiction/meth/signs-effects.
Most of the pleasurable effects of methamphetamine are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is involved in motivation, the experience of pleasure, and motor function. Methamphetamine releases approximately twelve times the dopamine that food, sex or other pleasurable activities release. The elevated release of dopamine produced by meth is also thought to contribute to the drug's harmful effects on nerve terminals in the brain.
Meth addiction and dependency is a serious disease that is extremely difficult to address. Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center is a leading rehab and recovery facility for women suffering from methamphetamine addiction as well as other co-occurring disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
According to research gathered in 2009 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.2 million Americans ages 12 and over had abused methamphetamine in the previous year. Methamphetamine use is a national problem, and many families are looking for the right treatment for their loved ones who are suffering from an addiction to crystal meth. Finding the right program begins with knowing what questions to ask and what signs to look for. All addicts deserve proper care, and finding the right program takes careful consideration.
In addition to medical detoxification programs caring for individuals while they come off the drug, these programs can also provide ongoing care as needed during residential stays, according to this website: http://www.recovery.org/topics/crystal-meth-recovery/. This care may include medical care for physical problems associated with crystal meth abuse such as infected skin sores, or care for diseases that may have been contracted through the use of the drug, such as hepatitis B.
You should call any facility you are considering and ask about its on-site detox and healthcare amenities. Some facilities may even allow you or your family member to tour the center before committing to a stay. One of the most important questions to ask a crystal meth addiction treatment center is what aftercare options they offer. While an inpatient stay is a step in the right direction, ongoing care after rehab keeps a user focused on remaining sober. Some facilities offer their own outpatient programs to those who have completed an inpatient stay, while others may redirect care to another center.
Aftercare is important because it helps you acclimate to the new world of temptations outside of the safety of inpatient care. In essence, it is a guiding light in a world that may look a bit dark as meth addicts continue towards recovery. Many of the effects of crystal meth abuse are psychological. These effects can sometimes be worse than physical effects, as the suffering often goes unnoticed because the scars and pain cannot be seen with the naked eye.
You or a family member or friend may suffer from anxiety or psychosis as a result of abusing the drug, and the results can be life-altering. The best facilities also treat these mental effects and can keep them from spiraling out of control with counseling or medications, depending on your diagnosis.
Another benefit of seeking out centers that have mental health services is that they can care for any existing disorders you may have. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a high proportion of addicts suffer from both addiction and mental illness at the same time, with 40 percent of drug users suffering from some type of mood disorder as well. Mental health facilities can also diagnose underlying conditions that someone addicted to methamphetamine may not even realize they have.
Addiction to methamphetamine in any form can be deadly. Your life is in jeopardy as soon as you start experimenting with this drug. No short term high is worth putting your life in danger. For treatment, see a professional health care provider who can assist with helping to prevent long term addiction, or worse.
Until next time.