Methamphetamine is a CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulant, very similar in chemical structure to amphetamine. Although methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, and is available by prescription, it is commonly made in clandestine labs across the world. Prescription doses of methamphetamine are far lower than those abused. Methamphetamine is known on the streets under a variety of names, including meth, crystal meth, glass, ice, and Tina.
Effects of Meth
Methamphetamine is abused by either snorting, smoking, or injecting. Crystal meth causes an increase in energy, insomnia, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and anxiety. As a stimulant, it has many properties similar to cocaine and amphetamines. However, short-term effects of meth are generally stronger and last longer than other stimulants.
When used over a prolonged period, methamphetamine may cause severe mood disturbances, violent tendencies, and psychosis. Crystal meth also deteriorates teeth, causes an irregular heartbeat, and leads to poor judgement and decision-making skills.
Long-Term Effects of Meth
Long-term methamphetamine abuse can cause many negative effects, some of which may be irreversible. Even after a meth abuser has ceased using meth, they may experience paranoia, auditory hallucinations, severe and sometimes violent mood swings, and psychotic breaks. Crystal meth also causes damage to the brain very similar to what Alzheimer’s does.
As with any addiction, meth addiction takes place over a period of time. When a user beings abusing meth, their tolerance for the substance is low, and they achieve desired results easily. As a potential meth addict uses more and more, their tolerance increases. As tolerance increases, the user must ingest more in order to achieve the high they are searching for. Eventually, attaining and abusing methamphetamine become the strongest motivational factors in the addict’s life.
As time goes on, the addict’s mind and body become accustomed to having meth present in their system. Crystal meth creates strong psychological addiction, and when coming down, the addict may become violent or psychotic.
Meth Withdrawal and Meth Detox
When somebody is addicted to meth, they experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. Meth withdrawal symptoms include severe anxiety, psychosis, and fluctuation in body temperature, and hypersomnia, or excessive sleeping. Meth is known to be more psychologically addictive than physically addictive, as the substance physically leaves the body within a few days. Psychological withdrawal symptoms of crystal meth, however, may last for two weeks.
Because of the severity of the withdrawal from crystal meth, it is recommended strongly that a meth addict attend a methamphetamine detox center. At a drug detox facility, the addict will be treated by medical professionals. These experienced professionals help the addict through their detox providing a more comfortable environment. Addicts who enroll in a medical detox have a far greater rate of success in relation to staying sober.