Addiction is a layered social issue that continues to plague society, from destroying the future of curious teenagers to controversially taking the life of celebrities. It can affect anyone, whatever their drug of choice is.
Some drugs are harder to source, like specific mixes which are often more expensive and are sometimes exclusive to particular events or clients. The more popular ones, like cocaine, heroin and meth, are more accessible and often cheaper than their customized counterparts.
These drugs are so easily bought that the US alone spends $700 billion every year to help those who have been addicted to it. One of the biggest contributors to that drug problem is crystal meth, a substance derived from what should be a therapeutic drug. The effects of crystal meth on this county are staggering.
WHAT IS CRYSTAL METH?
Before that, you need to know what crystal meth is from – methamphetamine. It’s a highly addictive stimulant which can have severe and long-term effects on the user. Methamphetamine is a synthetic substance that was first developed to treat diseases. Since the creation of alternatives with less side effects, it’s therapeutic use is now limited to obesity and ADHD.
Crystal meth, from the name, is a crystal-looking version of that drug. It’s either a translucent white or blue, and has no other purpose apart from getting the high and, eventually, being the object of addiction.
In this form, the drug is and always was illegal. Crystal meth is heated, then smoked through a glass pipe. It can be also crushed and snorted, but that’s avoided, considering the telltale signs like sporadically getting nosebleeds. Besides that, smoking crystal meth allows the body to absorb it faster in comparison to snorting it.
The abuse of this substance is so rampant that the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports 1.2 million people abused the drug at least once annually. In 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration revealed that there are at least 12 million people in the US who are lifetime users of the drug.
What you can conclude from these statistics is that crystal meth is both readily available, enough to affect 1.2 million people, and severely addictive, with 12 million people dependent on it for life.
WHAT ARE THE SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF CRYSTAL METH?
To better understand what addiction from this substance looks like, here are some of the earliest and most visible crystal meth symptoms.
While under the influence, it creates a false sense of well-being and energy – which is also something other legal stimulants can provide but not to the same degree. This will push a person’s body to move faster and more than it should or could.
When the drug wears off, you will go through a severe crash, where you either have a physical or mental breakdown, or you can experience both. This crash is often what fuels addicts to smoke meth again, and this cycle will continue because the more you consume, the shorter the highs are.
Most users have decreased feelings of hunger, and therefore, go through extreme weight loss. That, coupled with insomnia, disturbed sleeping patterns, nausea and hyperactivity makes for a very unhappy and unhealthy person.
What makes it worse is that indirect effects of meth, like a person being irritable because he has not slept for days, is worsened by the direct of substance to a person’s mental health.
The drug causes you to be aggressive, irritable, confused and paranoid. It even convinces you that you’re more powerful than you are, and causes you to hallucinate. Apart from all these being a risk to people in your immediate surroundings, it’s also a massive risk for you because, in some cases, crystal meth use quickly ends in convulsions, causing death.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF CRYSTAL METH?
If you are lucky to survive the short term effects of crystal meth, then you will have it much worse after continued use. Over time, the damages done to your body will be irreversible. Your cravings will be more erratic, and the doses you require each time you smoke will be higher.
The whole time you’re taking it, you will be chasing the high that you had the first few times, but you can’t. That’s your brain’s trick. It builds a cycle by playing on every human’s insatiability, but each high will be less satisfying than the last, encouraging you to up your dose and lessen our body’s recovery time.
Months and years of this will take a toll.
Most long term meth addicts suffer from severe memory loss and lack of comprehension because the blood vessels in the brain have been permanently damaged. Eventually, this can cause aneurysms and other severe brain injuries. In some cases, crystal meth can even cause depression and psychosis. They are now more susceptible to the object of their paranoia, which they would have known, but still be able to reason with during a short term use.
Even their bodies will begin to give, with meth causing permanent damage on their lungs, liver and kidneys. What’s worse is, their body cannot handle these diseases because it’s severely malnutritioned and weak, brought about by months of bad eating habits.
As you can see, crystal meth addiction is a very serious illness. The sooner that a person can get help from this debilitating addiction the better.