Most people know that meth is one of the scariest drugs on the planet. However, there are still others who don’t know how this drug can affect people over time. The Internet is filled with stories from meth users (both past and present) who learned the hard way.
Perhaps you’re currently using meth, and you’re curious about its effects. This is information you desperately need.
The Immediate Side Effects of Using Crystal Meth
Crystal meth is a stimulant drug. This is why people choose to abuse it. They’re looking for the quick high that the drug offers them. It doesn’t take long for the vapor to go from the lungs to the blood stream. This is why smoking crystal is one of the more popular methods of use. It can also be snorted or injected.
The immediate side effects of methamphetamine include:
- An intense sensation of euphoria. This can last for 30 minutes or longer.
- Feeling motivated to accomplish goals and tasks
- Feeling awake and alert
- Feeling extremely confident in oneself
- Experiencing an improved intellect and problem solving abilities
As you can see, these immediate effects make this one very attractive drug. Abusers are typically people who have used other drugs in the past. They’re often simply curious about the methamphetamine high, and how it will feel. However, once they know how it feels, they’re likely to continue using it.
How Quickly Can a Methamphetamine Addiction Occur?
The very first use of methamphetamine is often referred to as a “flash”. This is an intense rush of pleasure. The euphoria is so strong that it often leads to continued use. People may even binge on this drug after their first use of it. As a result, some experts believe that methamphetamine addiction can happen very quickly.
Of course, everyone is different. Some people don’t like the way that this drug makes them feel. They prefer a more mellow type of high. However, for those that like stimulants, it’s not uncommon for meth addiction to be almost instant.
Signs That Someone is Using Crystal Meth
It’s fairly easy to tell when someone has been using crystal meth. Usually, you only need to look for a few signs. You may notice:
- A breathing rate that’s much faster than normal
- An irregular heart rate
- Feeling physically overheated
- A decrease in appetite
- An increase in physical activity
This is not a drug that’s easy to hide from others. If you’re around people you know, they’re likely to realize there’s something different about you. You may behave erratically, and sometimes people can even become violent.
Are You a Meth Addict?
If you’re currently using this drug, you may be wondering how you can tell if you’re an addict. There are several signs you can look for in yourself, and they are both physical and psychological.
Keep in mind that addicts tend to prefer to stay in denial of addictions. That means that you may need to ask someone else to give you their opinion.
Have you noticed any of the following signs of meth addiction?:
- Problems getting to sleep
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry, itchy skin
- Changes in your blood pressure
- Increased anxiety
- Blurry vision
- Feeling dizzy
- Frequent headaches
If you have noticed any of these, you may already be a methamphetamines addict. However, it’s possible that even after looking over this list, you’re still not sure. You may want to consider taking a meth addiction quiz like this one. It will dig a little deeper into your drug use patterns and history. Once you’re finished, you’ll know if you’re an addict or not.
Other Names for Meth
Meth is short for methamphetamine. Wikipedia refers to it as a strong central nervous system depressant. It is mainly used as a recreational drug. However, it has been used to treat ADHD and obesity in the past.
This drug has a lot of names that it goes by. Abusers may refer to its use as “smoking crystal.” However, there are several other street names people call it as well. Some of these include:
- Crystal Meth
No matter what you call it, this is one dangerous drug. People who abuse it are very prone to becoming addicted to it.
Methamphetamine’s Effects in the Short-Term
The short-term effects of methamphetamine can be pretty scary. In fact, they should be enough to cause people to stop using this drug right away. Unfortunately, many users find a way to get past these almost immediate effects. Their desire for the drug and continuing to use it is just too great.
Some of the short-term effects of methamphetamine include:
- Dilated pupils
- Bizarre behaviors
- Having hallucinations
- Becoming hyper
- Instances of panic
- Bouts of psychosis
- The onset of convulsions or seizures
- The risk of death from high doses
The Long-Term Effects of Crystal Methamphetamine Drug Use
As a person continues to use crystal meth, they are putting themself at a great risk. Some of the common long-term effects of using this drug include:
- The risk of permanent heart damage
- The risk of a stroke
- The risk of damaging kidneys, liver and lungs
- The destruction of tissues in the nose
- Severe breathing problems
- The risk of becoming malnourished
- Disorientation and a confused exhaustion
- A strong psychological dependence on the drug
Let’s dig even deeper to see what other negative effects this drug can have on the body. You’ll find that it affects different parts of the body in different ways.
Effects on the Brain
Continued use of methamphetamine can cause permanent, irreversible brain damage. When people use it, it results in a surge of dopamine. This creates a rush of pleasure or euphoria. It is this rush that attracts people to the drug in the first place. The euphoria can last for quite some time.
As times goes on, and the drug is continually used, dopamine receptors are destroyed. This can make it impossible for people to feel pleasure. It gets to the point where they feel they need the drug to feel anything at all. There may be some healing that can take place if meth use is stopped. However, some cognitive damage may be lifelong.
Chronically abusing methamphetamine can and usually does lead to psychotic behaviors. People may become paranoid. They may be extremely aggressive at times, have hallucinations or delusions.
Effects on the Skin/Face
When someone has been abusing meth, there are often visual signs of it. It’s remarkable to look at before and after photos of methamphetamine abusers. The change in them over time is striking and shocking.
Methamphetamine abuse results in the destruction of blood vessels and tissues in the body. This means that the body no longer has the ability to heal itself as it once did. People may get acne on their faces, or on other parts of their bodies. They may develop sores that take a very long time to heal. Their skin will typically lose its elasticity, which makes methamphetamine users appeal much older than they are.
To make matters worse, methamphetamine can cause people to have itchy, dry skin. They may even have sensations of something crawling under the skin. This results in a need to pick at the face and other parts of the body. The wounds that are caused as a result can leave permanent scars.
Effects on the Teeth
Crystal abusers often suffer from a condition known as meth mouth. Meth mouth is described as having broken, rotting and discolored teeth. It happens because ongoing use of this drug causes the salivary glands to dry out. As a result, the acid in the mouth eats away at tooth enamel. This is why people often get a lot of cavities, or they may have other problems with their teeth.
The anxiety the drug can cause may lead people to grind their teeth. Teeth that are already weakened will be damaged further by repeated grinding. It’s also common for methamphetamine users to eat or drink a lot of sugary foods and beverages. They typically don’t brush or floss their teeth regularly. This only makes a bad problem much worse.
Signs Someone You Love is on Methamphetamines
It’s often difficult for families to come to terms with the fact that a loved one has a drug problem. Many families have loved ones who are methamphetamine addicts. They may not know how to address the problem. It’s also possible that they don’t know how to recognize the problem. Perhaps either of those is the situation you’re currently facing.
It’s important to know how to recognize when someone you love is a crystal addict. You should begin by looking for any of the above signs. Furthermore, you can also look for:
- Nervous behavior, such as picking at their skin
- The refusal of food; particularly healthy food
- Burns on the lips, or near them
- Nosebleeds (snorting) or track marks on the arms (injecting)
- A lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Secretive or deceitful behaviors
- Becoming abnormally aggressive without warning
- The presence of paraphernalia that could be used to use meth
- Becoming withdrawn from life, family and friends
Have you noticed any of these signs of a crystal meth addiction in your loved one? If you have, there are some steps you should be taking.
Steps to Take to Get Help for an Addicted Family Member
Perhaps you’ve come to the realization that someone you know and love is addicted to meth. If that’s the case, it’s time for you to act. There are a few things you should be doing right away.
Talking About the Addiction
This is not going to be an easy conversation, but it is necessary to have it. When you talk with your family member about their methamphetamine abuse, do so when they’re not high. Also, you should bring someone with you that you trust. There is always the risk that your loved one may become violent. As you talk, bring up the fact that you’re concerned, and you want them to get help. Be calm, but firm.
Considering an Intervention
It’s very likely that your words aren’t going to change anything about your loved one’s behavior. They will probably continue to use methamphetamine. This is a possibility that you should be prepared for. If that’s the case, you can schedule an intervention. This is a meeting that is guided by a professional in the addiction treatment field. Interventions are often very effective, and many people do eventually agree to get help.
Steps You Should Take to Get Help for a Meth Addiction
First of all, you need to know that meth is not a drug you should quit using on your own. It is very powerful, and trying to go cold turkey probably won’t work. You are very likely to suffer from a relapse, which could lead to a deadly overdose.
You need to get professional help to recover from an addiction to meth. Fortunately, meth rehabs are available that can assist you with this process. Getting treatment for your addiction offers you so many great benefits. You’ll find that it:
- Helps to have the support of professionals who understand your addiction
- Helps to be around others who are also in recovery
- Relieves you to know that you’re not alone
- Offers you hope to learn how to cope without this drug as a part of your life
- Provides you with the encouragement you need to accomplish your goals in the future
Getting treated for a meth addiction will change your life, and it’s not difficult to get started. All you need to do is talk to a professional who can guide you.
Your life is worth so much, and methamphetamine is a dangerous drug you don’t need as a part of it. Take the time to recover, and start today.