What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, meth, or crystal meth all refer to an amphetamine-based drug that has become immensely popular in the United States as an addictive drug of choice for social and recreational purposes and intentions. This drug made its first appearance in the 1940s when the Japanese military forces used it in World War II. The Japanese gave it to the Germans, and from there it found its way over to the Americas. In truth, this substance quickly became a potent, dangerous, and deadly substance that wreaked havoc wherever people used it, and caused countless people to develop meth addiction.
Since the turn of the century meth use and abuse have taken off in this nation. It has created what might be considered to be the most powerful addiction crisis the world has ever seen before, and this has boded poorly for those who use meth on a regular basis as the drug is dangerous, deadly, and very hard to remove from one’s life once one is addicted to it.
How Methamphetamine Harms the Brain
Meth creates a powerful, damaging force upon the minds and brains of those who take it. Meth chemicals are broken down by the body and they severely alter or affect the individual who is taking them. The effect? Havoc and misery for the person, long-term brain damage for his or her brain.
If one has used and abused meth for long enough, long-term and potentially permanent brain damage can occur. The crisis here is that meth is so addictive that once someone starts using it, they can’t seem to stop using it. It’s taken hold of them, and it doesn’t let go. More severe and more dedicated means and methods will be needed if any long-term gains are to be made.
The Effects of Meth
The effects of meth abuse are grim and unpleasant.
- A high amount of activity and wakefulness followed by a crash
- Little to no appetite
- Faster breathing and respiratory activity in general
- An irregular and dangerous heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure and body temperature to the point of being dangerous
- Sudden and dangerous weight loss
- Dental problems to the point of tooth loss
- Itching and scratching of the skin leading to dermatological problems and sores
- Anxiety and nervous hysteria bordering on psychosis
- Confusion and an inability to process basic, simple information
- Sleeping difficulties and constantly being awake
- Violent behavior of the individual to the point of seriously harming others
- Paranoia, to the point of not trusting anyone or anything
- Hallucinations, creating sensations and images within the person’s mind that are not real or possible
Continued meth use can also cause severe mental impairment to the point of not being able to learn things. Individuals who take meth extensively also end up having memory loss. They will also experience reduced coordination as well, and cannot retain information.
Dangerous, Toxic Ingredients
Drano, ephedrine, lye, ether, iodine, hydrochloride, hydriodic acid, brake fluid, rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, camp stove fluid, cold remedies, red phosphorus, lithium from batteries, drain cleaner, gasoline additives, paint thinner, and Freon. Most of these are highly toxic or corrosive, and most people would never put them in their car or use in their homes. Why would you want to put them into your body?
Signs of Crystal Meth Abuse
Unlike all other drugs, it is relatively easy to determine if someone you care for is abusing crystal meth. He or she will appear sleepy, they may have a lack of hygiene, sores will be present on their skin and he or she may be struggling financially for no apparent reason, as well as having problems with school or work.
Signs of a crystal meth problem become apparent within a week once that person has begun using the drug on a regular basis and will experience mood changes and be more reserved and annoyed with the thought of doing something that they used to think exciting.
Problems Due to Meth Addiction
- Physical problems:
Possible contraction of HIV/AIDS or other blood-borne diseases, liver damage, kidney damage, heart damage, problems with blood pressure, aged skin, scarring from scratching open sores, vein collapse from an injection, sunken eyes, hair loss, meth mouth, etc.
- Mental problems:
Short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss, trouble with thinking and reasoning, chronic depression, constant mood changes, and inability to have pleasure unless under the influence.
- Financial, social problems:
Loss of career, loss of home, no longer able to communicate with people normally, social withdrawal, anxiety in public, and seclusion from family and close ones.
Meth addiction changes a person into someone they don’t even know anymore. Friends and loved ones cease to matter, life, in general, seems to have lost its appeal, and the individual lives only for the next fix.
Beating Meth Addiction with Rehab
Meth addiction is devastating and harmful. However, it does not have to be a permanent affliction for anyone who is addicted to it. The key to beating a meth addiction and the only way to overcome meth addiction is with the help of a rehab program. With effective inpatient treatment, anyone who is addicted to anything, even something as profoundly addictive to meth, can go free from their addiction once and for all and lead drug-free lives.