In Drugs & Addictions

Crystal Meth: The Facts Behind the Mugshots

Crystal Meth

There are many drugs in the world but not too many can compare to crystal meth. Crystal meth is a shortened term for the drug methamphetamine. Meth has many side effects and is very addictive. Many people who try crystal meth develop a crystal meth addition. As a meth addict, people lose touch with reality and do things they would not do normally, such as stealing and fighting. Crystal meth is a drug that can be taken many different ways, including snorting, injecting, orally, and smoking.

Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an addictive drug that is in the same category as cocaine and other harsh drugs. Methamphetamine has many names, including speed, crank, meth, and chalk. Like other harsh drugs, this drug has a terrible effect on the human body and causes many addicts to lose everything and everyone around them, including their job, family, and friends. Meth is a drug that has something in common with many drugs that are popular today: its chemical makeup. Meth is a chemical stimulant that disintegrates the body’s resources and causes many functions of the body to function improperly or shut down. Crystal meth is commonly introduced in a club setting which is the primary reason it is commonly referred to as the “club drug.” Crystal meth addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to treat because it is so demanding.

What Does Crystal Meth Look Like?

The most common form of meth is a fine, white powder. This drug is odorless, and it can easily dissolve in water. If crystal meth is consumed orally, users will experience a bitter taste. The color variations of meth include different shades of a yellow and grey combination, pink, brown, and orange. Aside from being available in powder form, this drug can be compressed into pill form. Other terms used for crystal meth include quartz, glass, hot ice, crystal, ice, cristy, and blade: all of which refer to the appearance of the drug.

What Is Crystal Meth Made From?

Harsh drugs, such as cocaine derives from a plant, then other instances are added to make the drug potent and addictive. Crystal meth does not derive from the plant. Meth is a man-made synthetic chemical that is created in a laboratory. Many things are added to methamphetamine to make it more potent, more addictive, and the side effects worse. In illegal laboratories, crystal meth is born. Amphetamine that is another stimulant drug is commonly mixed with meth to increase the drug’s potency. Medication, usually in pill form, is mixed with the meth concoction as a foundation-builder for the drug. The illegal laboratories are used to “cook” the drug. There are many chemicals that are used to increase meth’s potency, including lantern fuel, battery acid, drain cleaner, and antifreeze.

Taking a Look at the Statistics

Crystal meth has a powerful effect on the world that many people are not aware of until a meth addict makes the news for something they did while they were under the influence of the drug. It is estimated that 500 metric tons of amphetamine stimulants, including meth, is produced every year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. According to the United States government, over 12 million people who are age 12 and older use meth. The US government estimates that over 500,000 of these people are frequent users.

In 2007, a study was conducted on American high school students. Approximately 4.5 percent of senior students used meth at least once, and 4.1 percent of sophomores reported the same. Between the year 1996 and 2006, drug treatment admissions for crystal meth tripled from 3 percent to a whopping 9 percent. There are places that have high drug treatment concerns, such as Hawaii. Approximately 48.2 percent of people in treatment facilities who are being treated for alcohol abuse were once meth users.

The United States is not the only location that has a problem with crystal meth. The Czech Republic, Europe, Canada, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In these parts of the world, crystal meth is referred to as pervitin.

The Tragic Effects of Meth

There are many different stories about meth and its effects. There are long and short-term effects of using this drug. Seeing the effects meth has on the human body makes many people wonder what is crystal meth made of and why is meth so addictive. Many of the before and after photos that are shown in schools and commercials are disturbing but real. Crystal meth is composed of different substances and cooked to alter the meth solution chemically. Meth is addictive because of the false sense of hope it gives users. Many people who are depressed and struggling to cope with the events that occur in their life use meth. Meth is one drug that makes people happy and helps them forget about the things that are bothering them. Aside from providing users with a false sense of hope and a burst of energy, there are tragic effects. One of the most common tragic effects of crystal meth is the way users push themselves further than they should and the effects of a severe “crash” that follow.

What is the “Crash”?

The crash happens when the drug effects of meth wear off. The effects of this drug before and after the crash differ. Before the crash, meth users feel invincible, free, motivated, and happy. Once the crash occurs, meth users feel low, sad, and depressed. People who continuously use meth experience a decrease in hunger, feelings, and emotions. The “crash” is defined as a physical or mental breakdown a meth user experiences once the effects of the drug come to an end.

Short-Term Damage

The short-term effects of crystal meth are what makes the drug so addictive. Crystal meth gives its users a “high” feeling that gives users the impression all is right in their world. Many crystal meth users have other addictions that cause other effects when the drugs are mixed. Short-term damage of crystal meth is extreme weight loss, aggressiveness, and increased irritability. Other short-term effects include insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, and more serious effects, such as death.

Long-Term Damage

The long-term effects of using crystal meth are ones that stick with the user for the rest of their life, including kidney damage, addiction, loss of teeth, decayed teeth, depression or a “blue” feeling, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and damaged blood vessels. Other long-term damage of using crystal meth include damage to the brain, apathy, and heart attack.

How Does Meth Affect a Person’s Life?

Sometimes the facts of crystal meth use are unclear. Crystal meth has different effects on a user’s life, but there are many effects that are commonly experienced by all meth users.

Seldom Meth Use: Some people who use crystal meth are not addicts, but they are users. An example of a seldom meth users is a college student that needs to stay awake long periods of time to study for an exam. A seldom meth user prefers to snort or swallow the drug. Some seldom meth users use crystal meth as a weight loss supplement to help shed pounds quicker than normal. These type of meth users often go to the next step of meth use that is binge meth use.

Binge Meth Use: Binge meth users prefer to smoke or inject the drug. Binge meth users are looking for a more intense high than a seldom meth user. Bing meth users use meth to experience a “high” and often do not have any other purpose or reason. An example of a binge meth user is a person who has tried meth once and wants to explore the drug further. With this exploration, binge meth users will continuously seek a stronger high until they are intense meth abusers.

Intense Meth Use: Intense meth users are meth addicts who are commonly referred to as “speed freaks.” Intense meth users use meth many times during a 24-hour time frame to prevent the “crash” from occurring. Intense meth users continue to use meth to receive a powerful “high” they will never get. Each meth high is less potent than the last.

What are the Stages of Using Meth?

There are seven stages that a meth user experiences when they are under the influence of crystal meth. This is known as the meth experience.

1. The Great Rush- The rush is the feeling that many meth addicts continue to search for after the first time they use the drug. The rush is how the user feels when they use the drug. During this time, every function within the body increases, including heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Many people who are addicted to other drugs, such as crack cocaine, begin using meth because the rush lasts longer than the two to five minutes they are using to having. A meth rush lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

2. The Peak- The rush is often followed by the high where meth users become overly conceited and argumentative over simple things. The high is often referred to as “the shoulder.” Although the user is not experiencing the rush anymore, there are still traces of the drug in their body that causes a reaction. This reaction during the peak can make meth users delusional for as long as sixteen hours.

3. The Spree- The spree is the point where meth users use the drug uncontrollably to keep the “crash” from happening and to receive a high that is better than the last. A meth binge can last as long as 15 days. During the spree, the user becomes hyperactive and detached with the world around them.

4. Tweaking- During the tweaking stage, meth users do things they would not do if they were not under the influence of the drug. When tweaking happens, meth users feel empty and crave another high from the drug which causes them to steal, fight or kill to get what they need to get the high they are seeking. The tweaking stage is where many meth users lose their identity and endure a psychotic state. In this state, the user is in their world, talking to and seeing people that are not there.

5. The Crash- All meth users are too familiar with the crash that is why they try to avoid it. The crash happens when the body shuts down and reality come back. The high is gone, and the rush is no longer present when a user crashes. This is one of the ways many people tell that a person is an addict of the drug. The crash causes a meth user to feel overwhelmed, become violent and mean, and lifeless which are all signs of and symptoms of a person who uses meth or another drug.

6. The Hangover- Like alcohol and drugs, meth users experience a hangover. During the hangover, a user may be dehydrated and seem to be deteriorating. The hangover stage can last from two days to two weeks. The solution to a meth user is to use more meth to keep these feelings from occurring.

7. Withdrawal- Drug users become familiar with the withdrawal state of crystal meths when their body craves more of the drug, but they have no way of getting it. After using meth for a long period, the body is accustom to the drug and the feelings it creates. When the body is not supplied with the drug for a certain amount of time, the body goes into withdrawal. During the withdrawal, the body has been without meth for at least 30 days. Withdrawal causes a person to be depressed and lack energy. The primary reason meth users revert to using the drug and relapse even if they are trying to get clean is because withdrawal from meth is painful, and it is difficult to kick the habit. Approximately 93 percent of people who seek treatment for meth return to using and abusing the drug.

Is meth addictive?…Yes.

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