Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse
Crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth, is a potent central nervous system stimulant that has a high potential for abuse and addiction. The recreational use of crystal meth can affect the neurotransmission of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Methamphetamine contains equal amounts of levo-methamphetamine and dextromethamphetamine, with the latter being the stronger central nervous system stimulant. Both compounds are illicitly trafficked on the street and are popular recreational drugs that can lead to crystal meth addiction and abuse in users.
Methamphetamines are toxic to the brain and may cause severe mental health problems especially when the drug is abused. Crystal meth abuse has also been shown to cause molecular and chemical changes in the brain. Research shows that marked changes in the brain may cause impaired verbal learning and the reduction of motor skills. One of the crystal meth abuse signs is severe functional and structural changes in the brain that can cause emotional and cognitive problems. These types of brain changes may persist for a long period of time after the drug has been stopped, and some may be reversed sooner.
Crystal meth possesses aphrodisiac qualities and creates potent feelings of euphoria. Some meth addicts use the drug to engage in parties where they can perform sexually for days at a time because of the potent stimulating effects of the drug. Some meth addicts engage in unsafe sex and can contract infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C. Crystal meth addiction can cause existing HIV/AIDS to progress. Research has shown that people who are HIV positive and use crystal meth suffer greater cognitive impairment and neuronal injury than people who are HIV positive and do not use the drug.
Methamphetamine hydrochloride is form of methamphetamine approved by the FDA under the brand name Desoxyn and is used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and severe obesity. It is administered in a very low dosage, does not allow a refill without a prescription, and carries a high probability for abuse. Methamphetamine hydrochloride that is sold in the U.S. must have a boxed warning stating the drug’s potential for recreational abuse and addiction.
Crystal Methamphetamine Street Names
There are a variety of crystal methamphetamine street names, which include beanies, tweak, crank, speed, chalk, redneck cocaine, brown and Mexican crack. If you purchase any of these crystal methamphetamines street names you should be aware that these drugs are often mixed with dangerous and toxic ingredients such as drain cleaner, paint thinner, lye, iodine, lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol and red phosphorous.
History and Trends in Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse
Germany produced the first amphetamines in 1887, and Japan developed methamphetamines in 1919. As a crystal powder, the drug was easily dissolved in water and injected into the body. Methamphetamines were used during World War II to keep the troops awake for long periods of time. Methamphetamine abuse rose quickly after the war and reached epidemic proportions. The drug became popular in the U.S. during the 1950’s as a diet aid and to fight depression. It was also used by truck drivers and college students to fight off sleep, and by athletes to improve their performance. Methamphetamines became a controlled narcotic in the U.S. in 1970, and since then illegal drug labs and traffickers have been producing and peddling the drug.
Side Effects of Crystal Meth
Many people who have experienced crystal meth addiction and abuse state getting a rush immediately after taking the drug. This euphoric high can make many addicts want to continue taking more and more of the drug. Higher doses of the drug can mean greater side effects. Here are some potential side effects of crystal meth:
- Increased energy and wakefulness
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in blood pressure and breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Mood swings
- Delusions and suicidal thoughts
- Extreme sweating
- Anxiety, hallucinations and psychosis
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Micro-vascular hemorrhage
- Violent behavior
- Reproductive health problems
Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse
Crystal meth abuse and addiction may affect every aspect of the addict’s life. If you or someone you love is exhibiting these signs of crystal meth abuse and addiction, detox and rehab can help. Signs include:
1 Risky behavior
2Increased talkativeness and physical activity
3 Lying about their drug use
4 A decline in school or work attendance and performance
5Neglecting duties and responsibilities
6 Skin sores and lesions
7 Increased libido and risky sexual encounters
8 Withdrawal from family and friends
9 A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
10 Borrowing or stealmoney
11 Neglecting personal hygiene
12 Dry cracked lips and fingertips
14 Dry mouth
15 Hair or weight loss
16 “Meth mouth” = rotting teeth and tooth loss
Withdrawal Symptoms of Crystal Meth
Crystal meth addiction can cause serious physical and psychological health problems and the withdrawal process may be difficult without the proper medical assistance. Some of the common crystal meth withdrawal symptoms are:
- Shaking and tremors
- Intense drug cravings
- Excessive sleep
- Loss of energy
- Increased appetite
Crystal Meth Addiction and Abuse Treatment
The National Institute on Drug Abuse currently recommends a medically supervised detox process as the initial stage of a crystal meth addiction treatment of recovery. Once the detox process is complete the patient should begin behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavior and contingency management therapies. The Matrix Model is a sixteen-week comprehensive behavioral modality that integrates behavioral therapies with individual counseling, family education, drug testing, 12-Step support and other interventions. The Matrix Model has proven to be an effective treatment choice for crystal meth addiction.
If you are struggling with a Crystal Meth addiction, White Sands Tampa can offer you quality recovery treatment that is founded on research-based clinical practices. We adhere to high ethical standards and treat our patients with the integrity, support and compassion that they deserve. Our innovative treatment programs are designed to help the addict overcome his physical and psychological addiction to drugs or alcohol. We also provide treatment for co-occurring mental disorders and other health problems that many drug addicts also struggle with.
Your treatment program will be designed to address your own unique history and set of challenges. Our goal is to prepare you for a life filled with joy, peace and new accomplishments that only sobriety can bring.
If you are struggling with crystal meth addiction and abuse you can receive the professional help you need to recover from addiction. White Sands Tampa has the resources and qualifications to help you get well and start to live a new, healthy and sober life. Don’t wait another minute. Call us now at 1-877-640-7820.