Crystal meth aka ice, glass, crank, speed and a whole host of other names, is shorthand for crystal methamphetamine. No matter what you call it, the fact of the matter is that it’s an incredibly addictive stimulant which affects the central nervous system. Crystal meth causes dopamine to flood the brain, which leads to potent feelings of euphoria and pleasure. This is an experience so powerful that it can hook users extremely quickly and have them seeking the high aggressively. It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected, and the method of intake and administration can dramatically affect the intensity of the high. The binge-crash pattern is also notable; the intense pleasure is followed by feelings of depression and tiredness, which are accompanied by severe cravings when the drug wears off. Methamphetamine is not something that occurs naturally, it’s a purely man-made drug and aside from dire effects on the person taking it, the production of meth is itself a wildly dangerous operation that involves dangerous chemicals, and the very real possibility of causing explosions.
How Does It Affect a Meth Addict’s Body?To put it in no uncertain terms, crystal meth devastates the body. You’ve likely seen the photos of people suffering from a crystal meth addiction, that show the before and after of the horrors of prolonged methamphetamine use. They make for a difficult, but ultimately sobering viewing and provide the most powerful insight into the scourge of this drug. Given the ubiquity of those pictures, the effects on the face of long term crystal meth use are the most well-known and clear. Serious tooth decay. Constant grinding wears down teeth. The general neglect of personal hygiene leads to erosion of the gums. Users can experience liver, kidney and lung damage and permanent damage to blood vessels. Depending on how the drug is ingested, someone who is addicted to crystal meth for a prolonged period can destroy tissue in their nose if snorted, have breathing issues if smoked or develop infections, diseases and abscesses if injected. On top of that, crystal meth has a drastic effect on appetites to weight loss and malnutrition accompany and exacerbate the degradation of the body.
Signs of a Crystal Meth AddictionA crystal meth addiction isn’t something that necessarily sneaks up on you. The good news is it can be spotted before it gets way out of control. If you’re concerned your loved one may be addicted to meth, there are a number of signs and symptoms to look for that can clue you in.
- Disregard for their appearance, hygiene or grooming
- Sores on their skin or picking at it obsessively
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss that’s rapid or extreme
- Twitchiness and facial tics
- Erratic movement
- Mood swings or outburst
- Increasingly unusual sleeping patterns