There is no need to wonder how crystal meth addiction can ruin your life. There are many examples of it around, from entertainment celebrities to sports stars. You may also have seen a loved one coworker go down the dumps due to drug addiction.
While this is not to scare you, it reminds you that drug addiction is dangerous. But luckily, there are now new ways to get the better of it.
There are quickly evolving measures to help reduce the effects of crystal meth abuse. There are also new and effective treatment options available to you.
With this interesting read, we will show you the negative effects of meth addiction on your life. More importantly, we will provide a roadmap that can help you get freedom from crystal meth abuse.
Facts About Crystal Meth
Methamphetamine is the chemical name for the highly addictive and potent drug called crystal meth. Methamphetamine has several slang names, like crystal meth, meth, blue, and ice, amongst many others.
Meth often appears in the form of a crystalline white coloured powder and sometimes in chunks resembling ice. Over time, it has been observed to appear in other colours, including pink, yellowish gray, brown or orange. Crystal meth can equally be condensed and produced to appear in the form of a pill.
Crystal meth has a relatively strong odour. It is often perceived to have the smell of paint. At other times, it is a combination of many chemicals that gives the effect of the commonly known “hospital smell.” It can equally give the smell of ammonia or vinegar. Smoking crystal meth can reduce the effect and give a rather subtle odour.
How does crystal meth work?
Crystal meth, as a psychostimulant, releases dopamine into the human brain while giving no room for inhibitors. Crystal meth is not naturally produced as it is derived from the combination of several drugs and items.
These items can be purchased from a drug store and cooked together to produce meth. Methamphetamine addiction usually occurs by sniffing, snorting, injecting, swallowing or ingesting orally.
Crystal meth is also consumed by smoking directly through a glass pipe. These methods of administering crystal meth give it quick contact with the brain and bloodstream.
The chemical released by the brain after Amphetamine use is called dopamine. Usually, it occurs naturally when a person engages in a hobby or something they love. This chemical makes a person feel good about whatever they are doing.
However, when you use meth, your body goes above and beyond when releasing dopamine into the human body. Compared to the natural occurrence, crystal meth spurs the release of ten to twelve times more dopamine than normal. This drug leaves an immensely pleasurable feeling that occurs immediately and lasts 15 to 20 minutes.
It also explains how crystal meth can easily ruin your life as just a few intakes can keep you addicted to it “forever.” Meth has been described as an extremely scary drug as it often takes the intervention of a professional to keep it from ruining your life.
Origins of crystal meth
Despite the difficulty producing at that time, methamphetamine was first developed in Germany in the year 1887. A Japanese chemist reduced the major ingredient in methamphetamine called ephedrine in the process of crystallization. This produced a crystallized form that birthed crystal meth.
This stimulant was used in World War II by both sides to keep their soldiers awake. Many doses of the stimulants were prescribed to Kamikaze pilots before their mission.
However, it did not stop at that. The demand for crystal meth increased beyond the war. Such demand even rose after it had been banned in the United States in the year 1970.
The crystal meth consumed today came into existence in the 1980s. People on the streets started taking to laboratories or their houses for production.
This was done with white rocks or bluish crystals, adding twice the amount of ephedrine to make it more potent. Access to ephedrine and pseudoephedrine was easy at the time. They were found in many legalized drugs that can be purchased over the counter, like cough medicine.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that has been legalized for use in medicine today. This is only to treat obesity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Plus, it is available only on prescription by doctors.
Prevalence of crystal meth abuse
There are generally different reasons to be motivated to use crystal meth. For instance, anyone sinking into depression can easily use crystal meth because of its ability to enhance mood. You may also be attracted to the drug because of the increased libido and the sexual pleasure that comes with it.
Crystal meth is highly consumed in every part of the world. About half a million Americans used crystal meth every week. Interestingly, statistics from the NCBI show that an average of 12.3 million Americans claim they have consumed crystal meth at one point or the other.
Comparison with other kinds of drugs
Meth, unlike many other drugs, is cheap and easy to access. This also gives room for ease of production by an addict who is interested in producing the drug. Many times, meth addicts who go into production also become dealers.
Also, unlike many other drugs derived from natural plants like tobacco, crystal meth is relatively artificial. It is cooked with a mixture of several chemicals, which makes the effects of crystal meth stronger than most other drugs.
Signs that crystal meth is ruining someone’s life
The ways in which crystal meth will ruin your life is not subtle. It becomes easily apparent when a person is on the drug.
This is because certain physical and behavioural signs will be visible to people around a crystal meth addict. Visible physical signs include:
- An untidy and unkempt look
- Dilated pupils with rapid eye movements
- Profuse sweating
- Erratic or twitchy body movements
- High body temperature
- Dental issues like tooth decay (peculiar to meth users)
- Facial twitching
- Talking too constantly and rapidly
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Frequent itching of the body
- Obsessively picking at the hair and skin
- Lack of sleep and inconsistent sleeping patterns
- Sores on the face and skin
- Intense headache
While these physical signs may be the product of other health issues, the probability of these signs surfacing in a crystal meth addict’s life is very high.
Psychological or behavioural signs are also very important when considering how crystal meth can ruin your life. You will likely see a strong turn in a person’s behavioural pattern once they start using crystal meth. These signs include:
- Anxiety, nervousness, irritable behaviour, and disability
- Unpredictable aggression and violence
- Anger or mood swings
- Hallucination: Seeing, hearing, or believing in things aren’t there
- Hyperactivity, higher energy, and restlessness
- Psychotic behaviour, stress, and bipolar disorder
Related Article: What is Methamphetamine Addiction?
How Crystal Meth Can Ruin Your Life
The effects of using crystal meth are so grave that it can, in many ways, ruin the life of any person using it. There is no positive consequence accompanying the use of crystal meth.
There are immediate damages to the brain, body, skin while there are long term effects. If a meth addict is not careful, the use of crystal meth could lead to death.
- Instant addiction: One of the most immediate effects of crystal meth is its ability to cause an instant addiction. As a result of the potency of the drug, just a few doses are needed to ask for more continually
- Financial problems: Except for a person dealing in crystal meth, anyone consuming crystal meth will soon find him or herself in a state of bankruptcy. This is because of the financial impact that accompanies the regular high consumption of crystal meth.
Even for a dealer, the impaired judgement that comes with meth use leaves little space for good financial decisions. Before long, you may be without a home and food to eat.
- Effect on personal relationships: A crystal meth addict will begin to show signs of withdrawing from those around. As time goes on, most personal relationships will be destroyed, leaving the person in a state of loneliness.
Meth abusers are generally violent, a behaviour unacceptable to loved ones. It may also get so bad as to lead them to untoward acts like child abuse and infidelity. This easily leaves such an addict quickly estranged from family and friends.
- Sexual dysfunction: Though users of crystal meth claim to have a heightened and pleasurable experience while having sex, this is short-lived. A crystal meth addict is prone to experiencing sexual dysfunction.
Also, some studies have linked crystal meth use to impotence. This makes the drug of no benefit to anyone sexually.
- Outward appearance: A person using crystal meth begins to care less about the kinds of clothes to put on and how to appear in public generally. People easily shun them as they generally look repulsive.
Meth users also tend to hallucinate meth mites. They constantly feel like insects are crawling on them. This leads them to scratch a lot, developing sores and scabs on their body. In the end, this only adds to the repulsion.
- Loss of weight: Anyone on crystal meth consumes less food as time goes on because they have virtually no appetite for food. This leads to loss of weight, a skinny body and a weak immune system.
- Effects on the Brain: Crystal meth has an instantaneous effect of releasing a lot more dopamine into the human brain than normal. However, this is the least of it all.
Crystal meth can ruin the life of an addict by subjecting him to brain damages. Diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and so on easily come on.
It can also lead to a major restructuring of the brain that affects a person’s emotional and cognitive behaviour. Long term use can equally destroy a person’s brain’s nerve terminals and white matter.
- Effect on the body and skin: Ways by which crystal meth can ruin your life includes long term destruction on the skin. Crystal meth addicts can begin to look older and have sores over the body, possibly leading to infections.
Many times, they lose the elasticity of their skin, making it look haggard. This can also lead to the development of illnesses like fibrosis, fatty liver disease, coronary artery atherosclerosis, etc.
- Effect on mental health: People using crystal meth experience mental health issues after the doses taken have worn off. This can lead to depression out of loneliness, inability to experience joy in their lives or other psychological problems.
This may be as a result of frustration, irritability, paranoia, nervousness and mood swings. Crystal meth usage can also lead to anxiety. This anxiety usually comes as a result of crystal meth intoxication and subsequent withdrawal.
- Severe health implications: Using crystal meth can lead to severe health implications like high blood pressure, increased body temperature, failure of the heart, diarrhea, constant headache and migraine, insomnia and so on.
- Legal trouble: Crystal meth is an illegal drug that has been banned in most parts of the world. Thus, anyone on crystal meth risks ruining their life by being caught by the authorities and possibly thrown into jail.
- Prone to Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Crystal meth addicts are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour. Of course, it means their chances of catching a sexually transmitted disease increases.
- Effect on dental health: Anyone using crystal meth is easily prone to tooth decay, gum disease, toothache, and so on. The condition is called “meth mouth” and is very specific to meth addicts. It may lead to losing teeth and destruction of the dental system in gravest cases.
- Methamphetamine psychosis: Chronic usage of crystal meth can easily ruin the life of an addict by leading to psychotic episodes like schizophrenia.
Seeking Help For Meth Addiction
Many addicts don’t seek help until too late. The reason for this usually comes down to 3.
- Denial: You may have been denying that you have a problem. Many times, drug use starts because of some other problem, a failed relationship for example.
By turning to drugs, you may get relief. However, you will not notice when the drugs begin to contribute and worsen the problem.
It becomes dangerous when you are unable to identify the impact of the drugs. Of course, since you don’t think it is a problem, you will not seek help for it.
- Shame: You may have realized the problem. But you don’t seek help because of the stigma attached to addiction. You do not want to be labelled an addict.
If the shame gets too much, you may feel like you do not deserve any help. This then makes it difficult for you to ask for help.
- Fear: There may also be a fear of what happens if you seek help. Rehab isn’t usually a pleasant experience and detoxing often comes with a lot of discomfort.
The fear of going through this may hold you back from seeking help. Furthermore, you may not want to relive some past painful experiences through therapy.
In contrast, you may have gone to rehab before and relapsed. All these add up to make you so scared to want to commit again.
Now that you have no doubts about how crystal meth can ruin your life, you should only do one thing. Seek help. You may not be as aware, but it is possible to make a full turnaround from your addiction.
It often seems like a myth. It may feel like one, too, with how hard your body craves the drug. But research reports are proving that recovery from addiction is possible. With expert methamphetamine addiction treatment, you increase the chances of making a full turnaround.
If you want to get better, it starts with you.
- You must be convinced of how crystal meth has ruined your life, or at least almost has. In your non-high state, think back to how you were before you started.
Evaluate your relationships with your loved ones. Examine your productivity and work and your finances. Check how healthy you are.
If you can spot an obvious difference, which will likely be there, then your addiction is well on its way to affecting your life. So, you have to make a conscious choice to get better, as no one can be as convinced for you.
- Believe that you can actively get better. You may read about your condition to learn more about it. Learn about what drove you there. Also, when you read reports of studies done to evaluate success rates, it may help you feel more confident.
Even while reading about such, you may not think it can happen to you. With that, you need to shore up confidence. The best way to do that is to go in to see a professional.
- Addiction is generally serious business. This means you cannot do it alone. One of the first steps in how to seek help for crystal meth abuse is to get your loved ones involved.
The most likely thing is that your loved ones will have noticed the changes in you. So don’t be surprised when they react more calmly than you expect. But also be sure of their love for you and their wish for you to get better.
- As your addiction counsellor may tell you, going through recovery is not usually an easy process. The stronger the addiction, the more difficult the recovery. This is why it is better to seek help as early as you can.
With this, you need to have a strong commitment to it. During recovery, you may have a strong urge to want to use again. You may even relapse. Recovery is usually a life-long journey, so you should not get discouraged. As long as you keep recommitting to it, you will get better.
Recovering From A Meth Addiction: Available options
One of the ways crystal meth can ruin your life is to leave you with a mental illness. This is apart from the regular bad effects of the drug. If you have a pre-existing mental illness, crystal meth abuse can make it significantly worse.
Because there is both a substance abuse disorder and possible mental involvement, the treatment options for meth addiction in Canada are different. A comprehensive treatment plan will include a mental assessment and treatment for it.
The options available to you are listed here.
This is usually the first step when seeking treatment. It involves cleaning out the crystal meth of your body. The long-term use of the drug will have made your body dependent on it. So your professional will want to get the drugs cleared out.
Medical detox isn’t usually an easy process. Very likely, you will develop withdrawal symptoms, which are generally unpleasant. You may go through it, whether as an inpatient or an outpatient.
However, it is essential to have medical personnel present. It also leads to better success rates. Furthermore, having a professional around will make detoxing easier. They can prescribe medications to help your body adapt better without meth,
This is often the next step after detoxing. Counsellors can help you understand the reasons why you got into the habit. They also make clearer how crystal meth can ruin your life if you continue to indulge.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
The focus of this method is to modify your behaviour to help you recognize your meth abuse triggers. With it, you realize how you react to certain things, making you resort to drugs. You are then able to leave such behaviour, and consequently, become and stay healthy.
This method of cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most effective methods available. With it, you can rest assured that you are well on your road to recovery.
The Matrix Model
Another method that may be used is the Matrix Model. This model is a 4-month long treatment that uses behavioural therapy while involving your family by educating them properly.
It is usually a 12-step process that includes frequent drug testing. You are also encouraged to engage in activities unrelated to drug use.
Contingency Management Intervention
This is also another of the available options for treatment. It involves using incentives to encourage an addict to get treatment and continue staying away from drugs.
It is usually not used alone. You will expect to continue undergoing therapy. All these come together to help prevent crystal meth from ruining your life.
Related Article: How To Stop Methamphetamine Addiction
Get Freedom From Crystal Meth
Since you have read to this point, you know how crystal meth can ruin your life. But it is not all doom and gloom. You can get better and recover completely. The sooner you seek help for your addiction, the better your chances.
Here at Addictions CA, our meth addiction treatment services are top-notch. We have a long line of experienced professionals who have helped many to recover.
More importantly, we can design custom meth addiction treatment programs to fit your unique needs. Contact us today to get started!