What is Meth?
Crystal Meth is the name given to a crystalline form of the synthetic drug methamphetamine, since it resembles rock crystals found in nature, hence the “street” names it has, such as glass or ice. Other street names for meth are:
- and burn
Meth can be abused as:
- ingested as pills
- or injected
The high is followed by a comedown, which can last for weeks. You can feel much worse than before taking the drug. It can be hard to sleep and you may feel exhausted. You may also get headaches and dizziness, paranoia, hallucinations, confusion, and feel irritable and guilt.
Because of this, people often take more methamphetamine to feel better. This can lead to a vicious cycle of use, in which larger and more frequent amounts of methamphetamine are consumed.
Methamphetamine’s Impact on Health
The risks to health and wellbeing, including brain damage, come with chronic use of crystal meth are severe. Death caused either directly or indirectly is also a real possibility, especially when mixed with other substances. Because the central nervous system is galvanized with an unusual intensity, heart rate, temperature, breathing and blood pressure all increase sharply. However, the greatest concern is the neurotoxic effects in the brain, including structural and functional damage to the cells that mediate serotonin and dopamine production. While you may recover from some of the harm after you stop using the drug, some health effects may be permanent. The sooner you stop, the better for your long-term health. Crystal meth’s main “perks” are pronounced increase in energy, heightened excitement and sharpened attention, as well as disinhibition.
The risks of injecting meth include:
- contracting HIV/AIDS
- skin infection
- septicaemia (bacteria in the bloodstream)
- and hepatitis C.
You also risk losing your job, savings, home and relationships, and put yourself at risk of a criminal conviction, since methamphetamine is classified as a Class A drug, like heroin.
The use of Crystal Meth tends to follow a binge pattern, initiating a rollercoaster ride in mood swings with intense highs followed by plummeting lows. Hyperactivity is followed by lethargy.
Opiate Epidemic & Meth in the USA
Meth abuse has been growing quietly across the United States for years in the shadow of the opiate epidemic, but the increase has been particularly acute on the West Coast, where meth now causes more overdose deaths than any other drug. In Washington state, meth overdoses killed about one person every day in 2016. In King County, which includes Seattle, there were 164 meth overdose deaths during 2019, outpacing heroin as the leading cause of overdose deaths. Meth has become cheaper, more contaminated and more potent, according to front-line emergency service and case workers, leading to an increase in dangerous symptoms like cardiac arrest, strokes and hyperthermia, a condition where the body essentially burns itself alive. That’s on top of the more common symptoms of meth use, such as psychosis, malnutrition and diseases transmitted through needles or risky sex.
Meth is similar to Ritalin or Adderall, and is identical to Desoxyn, the brand name for prescription meth. All three drugs ― even meth ― are used in the United States to treat ADHD, and many doctors believe that some meth users are self-medicating to help themselves deal with untreated or undiagnosed disorders.
Meth Detox in San Diego
The fearsome hold that crystal meth has on the user, both physically and psychologically, makes detox particularly challenging, especially as there are presently no specified medicinal interventions. Medication assistance treatment of the process of detoxification and health improvement is a must, given the nature of the drug and the ravages to health brought about by the addiction. This should not occur in isolation since some of the most resistant symptoms of withdrawal are psychological. Craving features heavily and sometimes long after last use of crystal meth. Safety, such as cultural sensitivity or women’s needs and LGBT services are core to our values at La Jolla Recovery.
Treatment for Methamphetamine in San Diego
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and support are highly recommended, as are incentives to encourage treatment compliance. Stress management and complementary therapies to aid relaxation and to introduce healthier habits also have an important role to play. A person needs to spend long enough in treatment or rehab for healthy behaviors to take root and for brain functions to function properly again.
There are many services that can help you to recover, from online counseling to inpatient rehab, such as the one provided by La Jolla Recovery.