Crystal meth is a highly addictive, dangerous drug. It can be terrifying to watch a loved one struggle with a crystal meth addiction, but for the addict themselves, it is equally as scary. For someone experiencing an addiction to crystal meth, it can feel like there is no way to stop the cycle. Thankfully, many people have overcome crystal meth addiction and there are many programs available to help begin the journey into recovery.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamines, commonly referred to as meth. Methamphetamines are synthetic, highly addictive, and illegal stimulants. Crystal meth is the most potent form of methamphetamines and appears as small, clear, crystals that resemble crushed ice. It affects the central nervous system and increases levels of dopamine in the brain, resulting in a euphoric, high-energy feeling for users. It also increases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate which can be very dangerous.
Methamphetamine comes in many forms which can be taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked to get high. Crystal meth is commonly smoked but can also be injected. The rush that comes from crystal meth is almost immediate and can last up to twenty-four hours after use. The crash that comes after the drug wears off can leave people feeling very low, which leads users to binge on the drug to stay high. This can result in days without sleep or food, as side effects will cause users to experience a decrease in appetite and an increase in energy. This has obvious negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health.
Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction
Crystal meth is used by people of all ages and demographics. In the past years, it has increased in popularity as a party drug due to its euphoric effects. People will also use crystal meth if their job demands long waking hours, in order for them to stay awake. Regardless of the reason behind starting the use of crystal meth, addictions are formed easily and quickly. Side effects of a crystal meth addiction include but are not limited to:
- Sudden weight loss/ Decrease in appetite
- Increased energy
- Excited/fast speech
- Scabs or sores on the skin
- Inability to sleep/Insomnia
If a loved one is showing signs of an addiction to crystal meth, do not hesitate to reach out for help.
Dangers of Crystal Meth
A long-term crystal meth addiction can have serious side effects on a person’s mental and physical health. Over time, consistent use of crystal meth can lead to changes in brain structure and its ability to function, decreased motor skills and learning ability, and memory loss. Crystal meth addiction heavily affects a person’s physical appearance as well. It can cause severe weight loss, rotting teeth, and skin sores. After years of a crystal meth addiction, a person can be completely unrecognizable as to who they once were. Crystal meth users who chose to inject the drug run risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C through the use of shared needles. Other risks that come with crystal meth addiction include:
- Lowered inhibition
- Increased libido leading to unprotected sex
- Permanent heart and brain damage
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Lung damage
- Liver damage
- Psychosis that can last for months after stopping drug use
- Severe dental issues
When a person has been using crystal meth repeatedly over time, stopping the use of the drug will cause withdrawal. This happens because the brain and body have adjusted to the effects of the drug, which is why people will have to use more of the drug to achieve the same effects as before. Symptoms of withdrawal from crystal meth can be dangerous and intense. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person depending on a few factors such as how much and frequently they used crystal meth. Symptoms of crystal meth withdrawal include but are not limited to:
- Intense drug cravings
- Increased appetite
For anyone who is experiencing withdrawal, it is heavily encouraged to seek out an addiction treatment program. There are currently no medications to cure addiction, however, there are addiction treatment programs that can help people recover and find joy in living a life without crystal meth or other drugs. Addiction treatment programs offer therapies through which clients will be able to identify and heal the underlying issues that fuel their addiction. They have medical professionals on staff who will be able to ensure safety as clients transition to a life without drugs and prescribe medications such as antidepressants if needed. Each client will receive their own individualized treatment plan to set them up for a successful path to recovery.
Find Help for Crystal Meth Addiction At Moving Mountains
At Moving Mountains Recovery, we understand how difficult the transition into sobriety can be. We offer multiple therapies such as dialect-behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and a unique adventure therapy program to help clients overcome their addiction. We have compassionate, experienced staff that will encourage and guide them on their path to recovery. If you have any questions about addiction, please contact us today! We are ready to help you or your loved one begin your journey of recovery from crystal meth addiction today.