Many remember the “Faces of Meth” campaign that started in Oregon, and it has since become a national phenomenon of how meth ravages a person. Crystal meth or crystal methamphetamine is a dangerous synthetic drug and a powerful central nervous system stimulant. Crystal meth is highly addictive; meth is a schedule II drug since it is used to treat ADHD. Methamphetamines do have an accepted medical use, meth also has a high potential for abuse and can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence, even in its medical forms such as Adderall.
In the past meth had ravaged the country and there were many stipulations put on ingredients needed to make meth. The meth crisis took a backseat to the opioid epidemic that we’re currently facing. Now, crystal meth is gaining popularity again. How do you know if your loved one is addicted to crystal meth?
10 Common Signs of Using Crystal Meth
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Uncontrollable jaw clenching– usually due to increased anxiety and nervousness from drug use.
- Long periods of wakefulness and a sudden “crash”
If a loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, they may be using crystal meth. While they may not yet be addicted, addiction occurs rapidly with crystal meth due to the intense crash associated with using meth. The crash and burn causes users to return to using crystal meth to escape emotions like depression associated with the comedown.
What Does Meth Look Like?
When you’re trying to figure out if someone is using crystal meth, it is helpful to know what meth looks like. The two most common forms of meth are a crystalline powder and a shiny glass-like form that is called crystal meth. Meth is bitter tasting and odorless. It may also range in color while it is usually white, in the crystalline form may range from white, yellow, brown or even pink depending on what it was cooked with, and what cutting agents were used.
Crystal meth typically varies in color from a clear, to bluish-white, or a chalky yellowish white color. Crystal meth gets its name because it looks like crystals or ice.
Long-Term Health Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse
Meth damages the brain of users and can take up to 2 years to repair the damage, or the damage may be irreparable. The use of meth also destroys the body of users, particularly their teeth. There are many long-term effects of meth use that often leave users with lasting and sometimes permanent damage.
Mental Effects of Long-Term Crystal Meth Abuse:
- Motor and verbal memory issues
- Psychiatric symptoms – anxiety, insomnia, and and mood disturbances.
- Emotion and memory issues – Meth use alters the dopamine system in the brain. Dopamine is used in both the area that effects both emotions and memories associated with pleasurable feelings. While some of these can be repaired naturally over time with sustained abstinence, some of the effects of long-term meth abuse are permanent.
Long-Term Physical Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse
- Damaged blood vessels in the brain and heart
- Damage to the veins and cardiovascular system(associated with intravenous use of crystal meth)
- Meth mouth – the destructive effects that meth has on the teeth has been documented thoroughly, it can permanently damage users’ mouths.
- Permanent scarring – meth users tend to suffer physically from hallucinations and feelings of bugs crawling under their skin and will obsessively pick and scratch at skin resulting in sores. The sores often don’t heal from the repeated opening of the sores while picking. Think about “Faces of Meth,” but it’s not just restricted to users faces, these scars can be all over their bodies. Unfortunately, they often bear these scars even after getting clean from meth.
While most of these mental and physical long-term effects can improve over time, they only improve if there is maintained sobriety from crystal meth. While sobriety from any substance is a battle, recovery from crystal meth is possible despite the devastating effects it has.
Crystal Meth Addiction Treatment
While crystal meth is among one of the worst drugs available, there is treatment for crystal meth addiction. If you believe that your loved one has a crystal meth addiction, contact us today at (855) 448-3588. Don’t let your loved one get swallowed in the meth epidemic. You can heal, we can help.