Addiction touches nearly every family, ravaging physical and mental health, relationships, and personal finances. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters,
daughters and sons. No one is immune to the frightening long-term impact of hard drug abuse. What follows is a sobering depiction of REAL individuals
who`ve fallen victim to the temptation of drug use - in this case, Methamphetamine - whose devastating effects are all too apparent.
The above imagery paints a harrowing picture of how devastating the use of various methamphetamines can be. Think we're being overly dramatic? Think again. Meth has been called the world's most dangerous drug and many U.S. cities, particularly across the Midwest, now consider it the most serious drug problem they face. In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) released findings concluding that some 1.2 million Americans over the age of twelve had abused methamphetamine in the last 12-month period. A year later, a report published by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicated some 13 million people were thought to have abused methamphetamine during their lives.
Whether you have come to our site because you are personally struggling, have a friend or family member that is, or need a cautionary tale about the dangers of meth abuse, you're not alone: more than a million people have visited this page and more than 7 million people had seen the imagery at the time this accompanying article was written. If you, a friend or family member has a problem with meth use, we urge you to get help, either by visiting our website to find a reputable methamphetamine rehab program, or using some other trusted source of your choosing. Just don't put it off.
Crystal Meth Abuse and Dependency: An Overview
The crystalline form of methamphetamine, often referred to as "crystal", "ice", "crank" or simply "meth", is a powerfully addictive man-made drug which is typically snorted, injected or swallowed. It is a powerful stimulant, causes a high that can last up to 12 hours, and has appetite suppressing properties that have made it appealing, particularly among women. However, tolerance to crystal methamphetamine occurs rapidly, causing the user to take increasing amounts or more frequent doses as they chase a diminishing high. Severe physiological and psychological addiction invariably take hold at this point. Because of the process by which this form of methamphetamine is manufactured, crystal meth is full of harsh chemicals, impurities and additives that make the drug especially dangerous.
Symptoms and Signs of a Meth Addict
During methamphetamine use, a person's pupils become dilated, their heart rate increases and they may show signs of physical exertion (such as sweatiness and elevated body temperature). They may seem particularly agitated, nervous or frustrated. Because it is a strong stimulant, users will often go for long periods - possibly even days at a time - without sleep and a diminished appetite. Looking gaunt, drawn or undernourished is frequently a cause for concern even if it isn't indicative of a drug addiction, but when coupled with other symptoms of meth abuse these signs should be taken very seriously. Over long periods of addiction, the harsh chemicals in the drug cause oral deterioration, often termed "meth mouth", and skin health also suffers as increased acne and sores from skin-picking begin to appear.
Short and Long Term Effects of Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction
The chemicals used to create methamphetamine are particularly caustic to the human body, and can begin to take their toll swiftly.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat and cardiovascular problems
- Intense irritability
- Possibility of stroke
- Auditory hallucinations
- Violent behavior
- Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment: Detox, Rehab, Aftercare and Long Term Recovery
The process of treating meth addiction is similar to other serious drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or alcohol. A patient will generally start with a course of detoxification to flush any traces of meth from the body over the course of a few days. The damage the drug has done to the body can take much longer, however, depending on addiction severity. After detox, a course of inpatient or intensive outpatient rehab should follow. With a higher than average possibility of relapse, residential crystal meth treatment is often recommended for crystal meth abuse over outpatient services to ensure treatment is highly regimented and properly administered. 60 to 90 days of long term therapy is typically recommended. After finishing rehab, a patient will want to build their relapse prevention skills, which is why 12-step aftercare programs should be considered by recovering addicts. Recovery is a life-long process but one that can be achieved with the proper help, support system and determination. If you are interested in rehabilitation services but are unsure about how to get started, check out our Rehab FAQ to find the best crystal meth treatment facility in your area.