Crystal Meth Effects

crystal meth effects

Crystal meth effects can cause chemical changes in the mind and the body and often require drug rehab to overcome addiction. Methamphetamine HCI, the chemical name for the drug commonly known as crystal meth, crystal, or ice is the “cooked” and crystallized form of methamphetamine. While methamphetamines have medicinal uses (such as treating ADD) and are available by prescription, the street form- crystal meth- is usually imported by large South American drug cartels, or created in home meth labs, which frequently make news when they explode (a result of the caustic, highly flammable chemicals used in crystal meth manufacturing).

Like most drugs, crystal meth effects cause changes to the user both physically and psychologically. Crystal meth affects the central nervous system, causing increased production of norepinephrine and dopamine (the brain’s “pleasure producers”). When under the influence, meth users may experience the following:

Crystal Meth Effects:

  • Heightened Alertness
  • Euphoria
  • Exhilaration
  • Suppressed Appetite
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Blurred Vision
  • Impaired Coordination and Judgement
  • Inability to Sleep
  • Heightened Body Temperature and Blood Pressure
  • Agitation, Paranoia and Bizarre Behavior
  • Anxiety and Emotional Swings

meth addiction treatment

Crystal Meth Abuse

Unlike pain medications like Oxycontin and Vicodin, or even alcohol, crystal meth has no medicinal uses, and no legitimate means of distribution. All crystal meth use is abuse: users’ risk of serious bodily harm or death is increased by ingesting the chemicals with little or no knowledge of the drug’s purity, dosage or other trace contents.

Once considered the gay party drug (because of its sexually stimulating effects), meth has gained in popularity because it is both cheaper and stronger than cocaine. According to a study by the State of Michigan, at least 5% of U.S. high school seniors have used crystal meth in the past year.

Crystal Meth Detox

After long-term use of meth, most addicts experience paranoia, anxiety, mood swings and irrational fears when coming off the drug. Emotional upheavals and cravings for the intense “high” feeling may continue for a few days. Once the unnaturally spiked levels of dopamine and norepinephrine are exhausted, feelings of deep depression can take hold. Some former users complain of feeling stupid or dull without meth. These effects of crystal meth may also be the result of brain chemical imbalances stabilizing during drug detox.

Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment for meth is similar to the approach for other mind-altering or hallucinogenic drugs. Even though crystal meth effects can include irreparable heart valve damage or stroke, or lead to HIV/AIDS (and other sexually transmitted diseases) as a result of its sexually stimulating properties, chronic users feel intense longing for the euphoria it brings, making it an extremely difficult addiction to treat. Still, successful treatment and long-term sober living are possible.

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