One of the most feared and least understood forms of drug addiction in the United States today is meth addiction. While efforts to prevent the manufacture of this illegal drug are often referenced in the news, few people actually understand what the drug meth is, what meth addiction entails, the many names it takes, the effects it has upon the body, and why it is so powerfully addictive. Get to know more about meth addiction and the drug itself so that you can be aware of the potential dangers to you and those you care about.
Meth as it is most commonly known is actually short for methamphetamine and is a manmade (synthetic) drug. It does not occur naturally in nature and must be manufactured through the mixing of various substances and chemicals. As such, there are a myriad of variants and variations, and of course, a large margin of error that can result in so-called “bad batches” that are far more lethal than standard batches.
The drug is also known on the streets as crystal, crystal meth, glass, ice, tiny, chrissy, tweak, crank and speed, among many others. The various names can be quite confusing to non-drug users or drug novices who do not realize what they are putting into their bodies until the drug has already taken effect.
Use of the substance is often associated with a strong and sudden surge of well-being, euphoria, and confidence, almost immediately after consuming the drug. This sudden rush is also accompanied with an intense increase in energy and hyperactivity. This sudden rush and feeling of well-being also causes a drastic decrease in appetite, even after the drug leaves a person’s system. The effects of meth generally last for several hours (6 or 8 on average) but can extend for an entire day.
While these are the effects of the drug on the body that cause addiction and that constitute the reason that so many people start using the drug, the drug is also doing serious damage to the body from the first usage. Because the drug is synthetic and is often cooked up in dirty labs by people who know little about chemistry or chemical toxicity, it can be highly toxic and in some cases cause instant death. However, standard meth also damages the body. Malnutrition is a common problem with meth addicts for they lose all appetite, other than their desire to consume more and more.
Other physical effects of meth use include sleep disruptions, extreme hyperactivity, irritability, aggression, nausea, and confusion, not to mention the extreme discomfort experienced during the crash following the high of usage. Prolonged and continued use of meth can lead to delusional behavior, extreme paranoia, convulsions, stroke, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, kidney and liver damage, and elevated blood pressure; all of which can lead to sudden death. In other words, meth (no matter how it is consumed) immediately begins eating away at and damaging the tissues within the body causing often irreparable damage even after only one or two uses.
Meth addiction can have detrimental consequences in every aspect of a user’s life. If you suspect that you or someone you love to have an addiction to this deadly substance, seek the treatment necessary to break free from meth abuse. Detoxification, therapy, peer support, alternative treatments, and aftercare programs are all offered to assist you on the road to recovery. Do not lose hope, find sobriety today.
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