What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal methamphetamine or crystal meth is a colorless, odorless form of d-methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive synthetic (man-made) stimulant. It is closely related to amphetamine drugs but has a longer-lasting and more toxic effect on the central nervous system.
Amphetamine drugs are psychostimulants and are often used illegally for weight loss and to maintain alertness, focus, motivation, and mental clarity for extended periods of time and for recreational purposes. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Crystal methamphetamine typically resembles small shards of glass or shiny blue rocks of various sizes, which is why it is sometimes called rock, glass, and ice. Crystal methamphetamine is abused because of the long-lasting euphoric effects it produces.
Is Crystal Meth Legal?
Crystal methamphetamine is an illegal drug. It is classified as a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which includes cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs commonly leads to severe psychological and/or physical dependence.
How is it Abused?
The usual route for medical use is oral administration. Crystal Meth can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, dissolved in water, and injected (or injected without water, which is referred to as a dry shot). The potential for addiction is greater when it is delivered by methods that cause the concentration in the blood to rise quickly, such as injection, because the effects are felt quickly and with high intensity.
How is it Made?
It is commonly made with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. These chemicals are readily available in household cleaning products or OTC (over-the-counter) cold and allergy medications. Drug Stores now post limits of how many items containing these drugs a person can purchase at a time in efforts to curtail the production of meth. Making crystal meth is relatively simple.
However, it comes with high risks from using flammable and corrosive chemicals. Illegal home-based meth labs, as they are commonly called, are very dangerous. Meth labs are often discovered by the fires and explosions that follow the improper handling of these flammable solvents.
What are the Risks?
Crystal methamphetamine use is associated with numerous serious physical problems. The drug can cause:
- Accelerated heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Damage to the small blood vessels in the brain
- Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses can cause hyperthermia, convulsions, and death.
- Individuals who use crystal methamphetamine also may have episodes of
- Violent behavior
The drug can produce psychotic symptoms that persist for months or years after an individual has stopped using the drug. Crystal meth users who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting HIV, hepatitis C and B, and other blood-borne viruses.
Meth Effect On Brain
When a person first uses methamphetamine, they experience a special high off the drug. This experience gets firmly recorded in the memory. Then, at the start of the addictive process, the brain will try to capture the same positive emotions that arose when meth was first used.
The problem is that no one can experience the same feeling as it was at the first use. The brain becomes addicted to it. This means that more and more methamphetamine must be used each time until a person gets high. This daily usage results in heavy dependence on methamphetamine as the body try to adapt to its effect.
What are Other Effects?
The common immediate effect includes:
- Increased energy and attentiveness
- Diarrhea and nausea
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite, insomnia, tremor, jaw-clenching
- Compulsive fascination with repetitive tasks
- Panic attacks
- Intense sexual urges and stamina
Side effects associated with chronic use:
- Weight loss
- Withdrawal-related depression
- Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure)
- Dental problems (tooth decay)
- Drug-induced psychosis
What Is Crystal Meth Commonly Called?
Besides the word “meth,” the most common names for crystal methamphetamine are ice and glass. Other street or slang names are:
- Crystal glass
- Hot ice
- LA glass
- LA ice
- Super Ice
What Does Detox From Chrystal Meth Involve?
Crystal meth detox programs are designed to help crystal meth users overcome their emotional addiction to crystal meth. Although crystal meth abuse is profoundly psychologically addictive and can have devastating effects on a person physically and emotionally, it is not physically addicting. Chrystal meth users continue to seek the euphoric high as often as they can. Only crystal meth detox can eliminate this obsessive need.
Since crystal meth is not physically addictive, in most cases, it takes between twenty-four to forty-eight hours for it to process through a person’s system after their last dose. This does not mean, however, that crystal meth detox should be avoided. The emotional effects can be devastating and should be addressed immediately through a drug detox program.
Suitable Treatment Center
While crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can be very intense, they are generally psychological in nature. The addict going through crystal meth detox withdrawals will experience anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings for the drug. Due to the intense cravings associated with crystal meth detox and crystal meth withdrawal, treatment should take place in an inpatient or residential drug treatment center.