Crystal meth is just one of the forms of methamphetamine and may also be referred to as crystal methamphetamine. Crystal meth addicts will smoke meth, inject it with a needle, take it orally or even snort it. All methods of crystal meth use will cause a person to develop an overpowering desire to continue using crystal meth because of its addictive effects. This includes a rush of energy, feelings of confident and happiness. Decreased appetite is another side effect experienced by crystal meth users. The effects of crystal meth can last for several hours or up to an entire day.
When crystal meth is used multiple times by addicts the drug starts to alter their brain chemistry, resulting in deterioration of the brain and making it increasingly difficult to experience pleasure from the drug. Studies have shown that the brain tissues destroyed by meth use can recover but typically the process take years and the brain may never be in the health that it once was. Hardcore crystal meth users who damage their brain will likely show no improvement in their cognitive abilities during recovery, which is why it is important to get help as soon as possible.
The changes done to the brain chemistry can lead to bizarre and violent behavior in addition to the effects on the brain chemistry. Like the majority of stimulants, meth also causes the body to release large amounts of adrenaline causing the body to go into a hyperactive wakefulness which is normally called tweaking. Addicts who are tweaking may exhibit obsessive behavior such as dumpster diving. Hallucinations, paranoia and delusions can be common during chronic usage and can lead to psychotic behavior. Many addicts report feeling as if their skin is crawling with insects and start to pick at their skin as if there are bugs inside of them.
Visible signs of meth addiction include teeth grinding, poor oral hygiene which leads to tooth decay and loss, acne sores and loose skin which make the skin appear much older and destruction of blood vessels and tissue. Most meth addicts will experience severe weight loss from the result of their appetite being suppressed combined with their bursts of physical activity while on the stimulant. The effects of crystal meth addiction can be both physical and mental, leading to harmful long term damage to the body and short term memory loss or even seizures.
If you or someone you love needs help with crystal meth addiction, please contact me today and I can make a referral.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.