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What should you know about crystal meth?

Crystal meth is the common name for crystal methamphetamine, a strong and highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. There is no legal use for it. It comes in clear crystal chunks or shiny blue-white rocks. Also called “ice” or “glass,” it’s a popular party drug. Usually, users smoke crystal meth with a small glass pipe, but they may also swallow it, snort it, or inject it into a vein. People say they have a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using it. But it’s dangerous. It can damage your body and cause severe psychological problems. http://www.ottiresearchchem.com

Recreational use

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How do people take it?

Crystal meth is most commonly smoked in glass pipes, but it can also be snorted, injected, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or the urethra.

Effects: Brain

Crystal meth boosts the release and stops the reuptake of a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, called dopamine. In this way, it increases the levels of dopamine in the body.

Dopamine plays an important role in motor function, motivation, reward, and how the brain experiences and interprets pleasure.

The dopamine “rush” in the reward centers of the brain gives the user a sense of euphoria soon after taking the drug.

Taking crystal meth causes dopamine to build up in the brain. This is a common feature of many abused drug. Abusing crystal meth can lead to considerable changes in brain function.

According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), brain imaging studies on chronic abusers of methamphetamine abusers suggests that dopamine system activity changes in such a way that it can seriously compromise a person’s verbal learning and motor skills.

Crystal meth can also severely affect the structure and function of brain areas linked to emotion and memory.

This may explain why chronic users of crystal meth often develop emotional and cognitive difficulties.

Some brain changes that occur remain long after the user has stopped taking the drug. Some may reverse after long periods of abstinence, but this could take a year or more.

Repeated use can have some psychological effects.

These include:

  • anxiety, irritability and aggressive or violent behavior
  • alertness and increased concentration
  • hyperactivity and insomnia
  • increased energy, libido, self-esteem, confidence, and sociability
  • delusions of grandeur with a sensation of power and invincibility
  • hallucinations and paranoia
  • psychomotor agitation and compulsive skin picking, leading to skin sores
  • repetitive and obsessive behaviors
  • psychosomatic disorders, where an apparent physical symptom or ailment is caused by a mental disturbance

When taken regularly or in high doses, crystal meth can cause a condition known as methamphetamine psychosis.

A person who regularly uses crystal meth also has a high risk of becoming addicted.

Effects: Body

Crystal meth heart

Crystal meth can have a serious impact on the heart.

The drug can also lead to some physical effects.

These include:

Using the drug can lead to lowered inhibitions and behavior that puts the user in danger.

Chronic use or overdose can lead to convulsions, strokeheart attack, and death.

Meth mouth

Regular users of crystal meth have a significant risk of losing their teeth through severe decay. This is known as meth mouth.

One reason is that methamphetamine contains acid ingredients that are bad for the teeth. Illicit products may include drain cleaner, battery acid, and hydrochloric acid.

There are other reasons for the prevalence of meth mouth among those that use crystal meth.

  • They frequently grind and clench their teeth.
  • Use of the drug tends to dry the mouth, reducing levels of protective saliva.
  • High methamphetamine users crave sugary drinks.
  • Users often neglect oral hygiene during the long-lasting euphoric period.

Addiction and withdrawal

Crystal meth withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms include severe depression, insomnia, anxiety, and psychosis. Addiction can take root after only a few uses of crystal meth.

Crystal meth produces feelings of euphoria for up to 12 hours, and users crave its powerful effect again and again.

However, after several uses, the same dose does not have the same effect as it first did.

A person can become addicted after using crystal meth only a few times.

A tolerance develops, and users need more of the drug to achieve the same effect.

In time, the need for the “high” becomes more important than other factors in the user’s life, while use of the drug increasingly achieves only a break from withdrawal symptoms.

If a person tries to break the habit, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.

Although the person’s physical system will be free of the drug after 2 to 3 days of stopping use, psychological symptoms will continue.

This is because crystal meth, like other addictive drugs, changes the user’s brain chemistry.

These include:

  • agitation and anxiety
  • severe depression
  • fatigue and insomnia
  • psychosis

The person is likely to experience emotional turmoil and strong cravings for some time.

Symptoms can last for days or weeks, depending on how long the addiction has lasted.

Treatment and rehabilitation

Drug rehabilitation programs can help people through the withdrawal process and guide them toward a drug-free life once withdrawal symptoms have gone.

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