Methamphetamine is a powder which is also sold in a crystallized form. It is a stimulant, which speeds up the system and creates a synthetic high. You can also call meth a destroyer of dreams, hopes, and lives. With its severe effects on a person’s body and nervous system, it affects the thinking processes and emotions. When meth addiction takes control of the addict, his life becomes a real mess, to put it simply.
Methamphetamine is also used medically. When it is prescribed by doctors, it is called by the brand name Desoxyn and usually comes in lower doses than is sold on the street. It is prescribed for those who have a problem with narcolepsy, or falling asleep suddenly during the day. Sometimes it is prescribed for weight loss.
When dealers or people on the street refer to meth, they may call it ice, speed or yaba. It also goes by the name “Tina” or “Crank.” When sold in crystallized form it is called Crystal Meth or Ice. However, by whatever name it is called, meth is truly a dangerous drug and one that causes psychosis and paranoia.
There are different ways to use meth, and it mainly depends on what form meth they have at their disposal. When using the powder form, the person will snort it or possibly dissolve it and inject it. If they have the crystal meth, they will smoke it. (The powder cannot be smoked as the impurities in it damage the lungs.)
When a meth user smokes the substance, they use a glass pipe. Sometimes they heat the meth on a piece of aluminum and inhale the smoke. Smoking it gives the most immediate high. The high when snorting the drug comes along a few minutes later, and when swallowing the meth, the person will feel the high about twenty minutes later.
Meth creates a sense of euphoria and well-being, but this is all a synthetic effect. Meanwhile, methamphetamine is taking a toll on the body and mind. Since it is processed with such toxic chemicals, this drug is basically a poison. Poisons do not have good effects on the body, and can kill someone.
Meth is highly addictive and meth addiction can happen quickly. Some are addicted after one use. Because of the seemingly “wonderful” effect after taking it, users will often want to do it again, and often find they are hooked and NEED to take it to stop the depression and listlessness of coming down. Some studies have said that meth may be the hardest drug to withdraw from.
Methamphetamine users will get talkative, feel confident (although this is a false confidence) and stay up for extended periods, full of energy. Finally however, they crash and sleep for hours on end. Sometimes they will sleep for days.
Unfortunately, meth addicts do not care about much about anything else. They stop taking care of themselves, do not eat well. They often feel confusion and anxiety, and can be violent. Long-term effects show up in the appearance. A meth addict loses a lot of weight and looks haggard and gaunt. Emotionally they are unstable. They can be aggressive and irritable, even act psychotically. Because of the increased strain on the system, illness or even heart attack or stroke can occur.
The risky lifestyle of a meth addict creates other problems. HIV is a risk as is hepatitis C. Often meth users will get what is called “meth mouth” where the teeth rot because of the caustic substances in the drug. All their teeth would then need to be pulled and replaced with dentures. .
It is very unfortunate that methamphetamine is so addictive, but it can hook someone after the first use. The initial high is quite something, not like a user has ever experienced. However, the body builds a tolerance of the drug, and so it takes more and more to get that same feeling. The user will increase the dosage or use other methods of taking meth so they can achieve that same “great feeling.”
There are three main patterns of meth abuse. These are:
1. Low Intensity
3. High Intensity
Low intensity abuse means the user is not addicted psychologically, but uses methamphetamine on a casual basis. Binge abuse means the person is addicted and uses meth more than the low intensity users but more than the high intensity ones. Both the high intensity users and the binge users usually smoke or inject the drug. They are chasing that original high.
When a person using meth tries to stop using the drug, they will begin to go through withdrawal and can get quite uncomfortable. They feel extremely irritable, depressed, full of anxiety and possibly frightened. They may feel fatigued, drowsy and nauseated. Some even begin shaking and sweating. Another withdrawal symptom is a strong craving for meth.
Symptoms of withdrawal usually begin about one day after the last use. The severity will continue for seven to ten days and will subside gradually for two more weeks. This is a long time, particularly if someone is attempting withdrawal on their own with no professional assistance.
Meth addiction treatment is vital to get a person off the drug and permit him or her to get free of meth addiction once and for all. Relapse cannot be considered part of the recovery process (like way too many rehab centers continue to say). The best way to recover from meth addiction is to enter an inpatient program. Recovery can also consist of medical care as underlying health problems may have developed.
Starting out as amphetamine, the drug was first produced in Germany in 1887, although there was nothing done with it until the 1920s. At this time it was attempted to use it for a treatment for various ills. Finally in the 1930s it found a home as an over-the-counter product for treating nasal congestion.
In the early 20th century, the Japanese developed methamphetamine after working with the earlier development of amphetamine. It was used during World War II to keep soldiers awake and fighting. Japan gave it to their kamikaze pilots. Hitler’s army used the drug. After the war was over, there was a large stockpile of the drug left over and it was distributed throughout Japan, with the horrific result of an epidemic of addiction to methamphetamine. Soon many countries prohibited the sale and use of the drug.
Over the past few years, meth trafficking and abuse have been on the rise. Communities around the country have seen an impact from this increase. The heartbreak of a family member who is addicted, the children who get involved and the drug-related crime and violence. All of this leads our society down an extremely unpleasant path.
Mexican drug cartels are smuggling methamphetamine into the U.S. in quantity. Even worse are the meth labs located right in our own neighborhoods. The availability of the drug and the efforts of dealers to make their profits from its sale make it very important to get addicts off meth and being able to live without turning to it again.
Methamphetamine is a horrible addiction, one that is insidious at the beginning, with its inviting high. Getting off it is no easy task. But it can be done, and it can be made as comfortable as possible by the right drug rehabilitation center.