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Although most of the crystal meth found in the United States comes from outside the country, there are many who produce it in home labs. Because of the chemicals involved, the production of crystal meth is very dangerous and sometimes fatal.
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Learning About Meth Abuse
Crystal Meth Addiction in America
Crystal meth or crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. Crystal meth is a man-made stimulant drug that has been illegally produced and sold since World War II. At that time, it was provided to soldiers to keep them awake. Since, it has been used illegally to help people lose weight, combat depression, and as a common party drug. Crystal meth (also called Meth, Ice, and Glass) comes in clear chunks or shiny rocks that appear bluish-white in color. It is commonly smoked; however, it can also be diluted to liquid and injected or crushed and snorted or swallowed. Crystal meth is produced using pseudoephedrine, an ingredient common to many cold medicines.
For this reason, many over-the-counter cold medications are now heavily regulated. Although most of the crystal meth found in the United States comes from outside the country, there are many who produce it in home labs. Because of the chemicals involved, the production of crystal meth is very dangerous and sometimes fatal.
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The Dangers of Abusing Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug. In some cases, people become addicted to the intense effects of crystal meth after just one use. Often, those who abuse it do so as they are looking for a fast (and in some cases instant) high. The methods used to take crystal meth allow the drug to bypass the body’s natural filters (the digestive system and liver) and proceed directly to the brain producing a rush of euphoria. Most will feel the peak effects of crystal meth within one to fifteen minutes, and they generally last between four and eight hours.
Crystal meth is a dangerous drug. Those who abuse crystal meth regularly are nearly five times more likely to die than those who do not. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crystal meth was responsible for the deaths of 16,500 American’s in 2019.
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Physical Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction
Crystal meth addiction is a powerful stimulant drug that causes both physical and emotional effects. Some of these are short-term, and some last much longer and can be life-threatening. Some of the short-term physical effects often experienced when using crystal meth include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Increased body temperature
- Appetite changes
- Changes in energy levels
The above symptoms often begin to disappear as the presence of the drug in your system reduces. Longer-term effects often arise out of chronic use and can result in significant ongoing health effects. Some of the most common long-term effects include:
- Significant weight loss
- Functional and structural changes to the brain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Changes to sleeping patterns
- Difficulties breathing or irregular breathing
- Liver disease and permanent liver damage
- Immune system dysfunction
- Brain damage
- Heart attack or cardiac arrest
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Mental Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse
In addition to physical effects, crystal meth addiction also has mental and behavioral impacts. Like physical signs and symptoms of crystal meth addiction, cognitive and behavioral effects are both short and long-term. In the short term, someone who uses crystal meth will feel an almost immediate sense of euphoria. Some also indicate feelings of extreme happiness or joy. These short-term emotional effects are typically felt within one to fifteen minutes after using and will wear off in a matter of hours. The long term mental and behavioral effects of crystal meth use are far more significant. Some of the more common examples may include:
- New or increasing mental health disorders
- New or severe physical illness (including organ damage, organ failure, and death)
- Violent mood swings
- Risky behavior, including risky sexual behavior
- Legal problems
- Borrowing or stealing money to buy drugs
- Increased isolation (even from friends and family)
- Memory loss and other cognitive issues
- Experiencing a “mental break” or break from reality
While the above list of short-term and long-term effects is by no means exhaustive, it is meant to be an indicator of some of the most common signs and symptoms one may notice if they or a loved one are addicted to crystal meth.
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Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
Methamphetamines and ongoing methamphetamine addiction are dangerous. Depending on your level of addiction, the first step in a comprehensive addiction treatment program is often detox. During detox, you allow your body the opportunity to quickly and safely remove unwanted substances from your body so you can begin an immersive therapy program without distractions such as cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
At a medically supervised detox program, highly trained medical personnel will be available to monitor you throughout the process and ensure your safety. After you’ve completed detox, you will work with the treatment staff at the addiction treatment center to create a comprehensive treatment program that caters to your specific addiction treatment needs. Because all addictions are unique to the individual, it is essential that comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment is designed around each person’s unique treatment needs and goals.
Depending on the specific addiction treatment program, various individual, group, and family therapy models may be utilized as a part of your treatment plan. Some therapy programs integrate alternative therapy programs as well, including music therapy, art therapy, yoga and meditation, and nutritional therapies.
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Recovery Happens When You Find a Meth Addiction Center Near You
Crystal meth addiction is dangerous and should not be ignored. If you or a loved one are addicted to crystal meth, it is essential to seek treatment immediately. If you are unsure where to begin, contact the team at My Recovery Source. There are thousands of treatment centers across the country and finding the best one for you may seem confusing. Let our knowledgeable staff help you find a meth addiction center near you, where you can start your treatment journey. Detox and withdrawal from meth can be dangerous. The safest way to begin working towards sobriety is to seek treatment at an addiction treatment center skilled in medically supervised detox and crystal meth addiction treatment. Don’t wait another day; contact My Recovery Source today to learn more about crystal meth addiction treatment in your area.