Meth is a horrible drug that is gaining in popularity. Indeed, more people now use crystal meth than cocaine, and it is particularly prevalent among the younger generation. Lives have been destroyed by crystal meth across generations and communities and it is indiscriminate of age, cultural or religious background and ethnicity. As it is so common for young people to experiment with meth, it is incredibly important that parents learn to recognize the signs of abuse and seek treatment. As methamphetamine is also highly addictive, this is even more important.
What Is Crystal Meth?
Methamphetamine is classed as a stimulant. It has a crystalline structure when it is manufactured, which is where it gets its name from. Most users smoke the drug, but it can be taken intravenously and it can be ingested as well. It is very easy to make the substance using household ingredients, which is why there are so many different meth labs in homes across the country.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth Addiction
There are a number of common signs and symptoms associated with meth addiction. These signs are both physical and psychological. Although spotting just one of these signs does not necessarily mean that someone is addicted, spotting more than one can be an indicator that you need to seek help. Some of the signs of meth addiction include:
- Weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Eye twitching
- Repetitious behavior
Those who have a meth addiction can often stay awake for a number of days. This is then followed by a severe crash. During a crash, users will sleep for very long periods of time, sometimes even more than a full day. Some also enter what is known as a “manic” phase, which presents itself as obsessive compulsive cleaning.
If the addiction continues for an extended period of time, people tend to lose a great deal of weight to the point of looking anorexic. Furthermore, they may lose their teeth and their face and mouth may get covered in sores. There are various “before and after” pictures available of people who have abused meth, which presents a frightening image.
Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction
The effects of crystal meth are generally classified as mental and physical. The drug usually impairs brain function and damages the cells of the brain, often permanently. This can lead to seizures and to short-term memory loss.
Furthermore, the skin is often affected, with people developing skin abscesses. As the immune system is severely compromised, these often become infected. Hence, must addicts have long periods of sickness as well. Every area of the body can be affected by using crystal meth and many of these effects are permanent. For instance, people can go blind, experience kidney failure, go into respiratory failure, have internal bleeding, experience chest pain, be malnourished, have brittle bones and have an increased metabolism.
Those are just the physical effects, however. There are also a number of psychological effects that can cause psychological disorders, which include aggression, paranoia, delusions, mood instability, schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. These are caused not just by use of the drug, but also because of overstimulation and permanent brain damage combined with a lack of sleep.
Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction
If you are worried that you or a loved one has a meth problem, then the first step to dealing with a methamphetamine addiction is a period of detox. This means that you will have to completely stop taking the drug, which will put you in withdrawal. Meth withdrawal is very intense, with a huge range of severe withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is vital that you attend a drug and alcohol rehab center to go through this process. After withdrawal, the chance of relapse is very high, currently standing at 93%. This demonstrates how important it is to have an excellent support system in place, which is what our team at Creative Care will help you to build.
Meth is a stimulant drug. As a result, once you or your loved one has gone through detox, you will also need to address and treat problems such as narcolepsy, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Most patients who have a meth addiction receive a dual diagnosis, which means they also have a mental health issue that they need help with. Sometimes, these issues lead to the initial taking of the drug, sometimes they are present as a result of taking the drug. Regardless, the issues have to be addressed or the chance of relapse is massively increased.
Statistics on Crystal Meth
- People who abuse meth experience severe tooth decay, which is known as “meth mouth”.
- Meth is abused all over the world. It is known as Shabu in the Philippines and as Yaba in Thailand, for instance.
- 48.2% of people in Hawaii seeking rehab treatment do so because of a meth addiction. This is the highest percentage in all states.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, some 500 metric tons of amphetamine-type drugs are produced worldwide every year.
- Some 24.7 million people use crystal meth worldwide.
- Crystal meth has the highest chance of relapse.
Crystal Meth Abuse Among Teens
CBS News recently performed a study in which they found that 1 in every 33 teens has tried meth. Furthermore, 25% believed it was easy to get hold of meth and that it even had some benefits. It is the most popular drug abused among young people today, because they enjoy the readily available stimulant that it provides. Furthermore, because it can be created locally from easy to find ingredients, it is generally also a very affordable drug. In slightly more positive news, a recent report did find that meth abuse among those between the age of 12 and 17 has dropped. However, it cannot be stressed enough that parents must remain vigilant in looking for signs and symptoms in their children.
If you have any concerns, please contact the team at Creative Care today. We are here to help you in a non-judgmental way. Our goal is to make sure that you are able to return to the community as a well-adjusted member of society, in control of your own life and destiny.