What Is Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a synthetic stimulant related to amphetamines, which exerts very powerful effects on the body. It has no color or odor, and often resembles fragments of shiny rock that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A Government resource explains that while methamphetamine is also available as a powder, which users snort, as crystal meth is purer, smoking the crystal form of the drug produces more intense and longer lasting effects. Additionally, crystal meth users may inject the drug, which produces a faster and more intense hit still. With euphoric effects typically lasting for as long as 12 hours, the drug is popular with anyone wanting a lasting high or injection of energy.
Crystal Meth Facts
It is important that parents are well-informed about the drugs their kids may come into contact with. This allows you to confidently discuss drugs with your children and answer their queries. If you are not familiar with crystal methamphetamine, you may be interested in the following information:
- Crystal meth is sometimes just called meth, though some of the other names it is referred to by include chalk, crank, crystal, glass and ice.
- As the Center for Substance Abuse Research discusses, methamphetamine was originally developed for medical purposes as a decongestant and for use in inhalers. The drug was later used as a treatment for weight loss and is still prescribable to manage ADHD.
- Crystal meth is classed as a Schedule II controlled substance, as it has high abuse potential.
- It is possible to manufacture meth using household products, notably over-the-counter cold remedies, which increases the availability of this addictive substance.
- Methamphetamine production generates hazardous waste, which you may be exposed to when cooking meth or if you live near a meth lab. This waste is also a serious source of environmental pollution.
- Although crystal meth gives an intense rush, NIDA warns that this euphoria is followed by anxiety, fear and anger. With repeated use you are left feeling low and the usual activities that would pick up your mood fail to do so, encouraging users to take increasingly high doses till their drug use is out of control.
- Even the first time you use meth it is possible to experience serious adverse effects, including an overdose.
- Taking crystal meth increases a user’s risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke, contracting HIV and developing serious mental health problems.
- Once addicted to meth it doesn’t just endanger your health, but also takes its toll on your academic and work performance, finances, relationships and your participation in everyday activities.
- Meth is highly addictive and even once you quit its use, you still feel the lasting physical and emotional effects of the drug years later.
Crystal Meth Drug Effects
The intense positive feelings meth users experience is down to the release of dopamine in the brain, as this chemical messenger triggers pleasurable feelings. As the dopamine is released in the areas of the brain that govern reward, this is why you feel such a rush when taking crystal meth. It doesn’t take long for crystal meth drug use to lead to addiction, owing to its powerful effects on your brain, and once this has set in you compulsively seek out the drug and experience strong cravings when you don’t get your meth fix.
Besides addiction to crystal meth, other problems associated with meth use include:
- Anxiety, mood swings, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and suicidal thoughts
- Very poor appetite, which can lead to malnutrition
- Damage to your skin, gums and teeth due to the corrosive action of meth
- Dangerously high blood pressure and heart rate, which can be fatal
- Breathing difficulties
- Birth defects and pregnancy complications
Crystal Meth Abuse
Although overall rates of meth use are declining in the US, it is still a significant problem. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, close to 600,000 people still abuse crystal meth each month and there are more than 100,000 hospital admissions annually as a direct result of the drug. The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report also shows that methamphetamine use is a concern among young people, with more than 3% of high school students admitting to using the drug at least once, rising to more than 4% among 11th and 12th grade students.
Even if you don’t think that your son or daughter would be tempted to misuse addictive substances, there are several reasons why crystal method drug abuse is appealing to teens, as the University of Minnesota explains. For example, methamphetamine is well-known for its ability to aid weight loss, and some doctors prescribe meth to obese patients who have not been able to lose weight through other methods. If a teen feel conscious about their weight, they may therefore see crystal meth as an easy way to drop some pounds, as the drug naturally restricts your appetite. Alternatively, the drug is attractive to sporty teens who have heard that it can boost your energy levels, allowing you to train for longer to enhance your performance. The ability of meth to help you stay up all night to complete an assignment for school is additionally appealing. Some teens even abuse crystal meth as it has a reputation for enhancing sexual arousal and activity. As there are various ways that methamphetamine is attractive to young people, it is important that you raise the issue with your kids before they succumb to temptation. This way you can protect them from the dangers of meth abuse, as with the right information they are more inclined to make healthy choices when it comes to drug use.
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