Crystal methamphetamine, popularly called crystal meth, is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. Crystal meth comes in clear crystal chunks or shiny blue-white rocks. Also called “ice” or “glass,” it’s a popular party drug and there is no legal use for it. Crystal meth is smoked with a small glass pipe, but users may also snort it, swallow it, or inject it into a vein. People say they have a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using it. This illegal drugs is extremely dangerous to your body and can cause serious psychological problems.
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Where Does It Come From?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that’s been around for a long time. Soldiers were reportedly given meth during World War II, to keep them awake. People have also taken the drug to easy symptoms of depression and to lose weight. Today, the only legal meth product is a tablet for treating attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), and obesity. It’s seldom used and is available only by prescription.
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Crystal meth comprises of pseudoephedrine, which is found in many cold medicines. It helps ease congestion. Most of the crystal meth used comes from Mexican labs. However, there are many small labs in the U. S. Some are right in people’s homes. Producing meth is a dangerous process because of the chemicals involved. Meth is highly toxic and can cause explosions.
How Does It Make You Feel?
The powerful rush people get from using meth causes many to get hooked right from the start. When it’s used, a chemical called dopamine overflows the parts of the brain that control feelings of pleasure. Users also feel self-confident and robust. A user can become addicted quickly and soon finds he will do anything to have the rush again. As he continues to use the drug, he builds up a tolerance, such that he needs higher doses to get the same feeling. The higher the dose, the higher the risks.
What Are the Effects?
- Meth can increase the body temperature of the user, leading to faintness or even death.
- A user may feel anxious and confused, have mood swings, and even become vicious.
- Looks can change dramatically. A user may quickly age, his skin may dull, and he can develop hard-to-heal sores and pimples. He may have a dry mouth and stained, broken, or rotting teeth.
- A user may become paranoid. He may hear and see things that aren’t there. He may think about hurting himself or others. He may also feel as though insects are crawling on or under his skin.
- A user is at higher risk for HIV/AIDS. Someone under the influence of meth may be more likely to engage in unsafe sex.
What Are the Signs Someone Is Using Meth?
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Not caring about personal appearance or grooming
- Dilated pupils and rapid eye movement
- Keenly picking at hair or skin
- Strange sleeping patterns such as staying up for days or even weeks at a time
- Jerky, erratic movements; twitching; facial tics; animated or exaggerated mannerisms; and constant talking
- Borrowing money often, selling possessions, or stealing
- Angry outbursts
- Psychotic behavior, such as hallucinations
How Meth Addiction Is Treated
Meth addiction is one of the hardest drug addictions to treat, but it can be done. If you know someone with the problem, don’t try to help him by yourself. Users need a professional counselor or drug treatment program.