Crystal Meth On The Street
Amphetamines have some legitimate uses. For medical purposes, the FDA has approved the brand Desoxyn. But on the street, crystal meth has no legal purpose. It appears like its name suggests – like crystal. It looks like small, frosted shards of glass. To consume meth, a person might inject it with a needle. Or, they may opt to smoke it. Alternatively, one might grind meth into a power and snort it. One can also swallow it.
Crystal meth may go by any number of slang terms.
Crystal Meth And The Brain
A common slang term for meth gives us an idea of what it does to the body. Some consumers call it “speed.” “Stimulant,” a more proper term, describes drugs that make the brain faster.
Inside our bodies, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS).
The spine connects to all the rest of the nerves in the body. The brain sends a nerve signal to the spinal cord. This signal goes down the spinal cord into the nerves. Methamphetamines make this already quick process happen even quicker.
What Does Meth Feel Like?
Meth makes people more awake and alert. After taking it, one notices a heightened sense of awareness and confidence. Focus and mental clarity improve. Hunger decreases. One may go several hours (or days) without eating. Consumers experience profound self-confidence and excitement. As the brain processes move faster, the body tends to as well. Under the influence of meth, a person may squirm, wiggle, or twitch. Their behaviors may mimic someone suffering from mania.
Side Effects of Crystal Meth
As with any medication, crystal meth has side effects. Some of its side effects appear like other stimulants. Many meth consumers experience paranoia, i.e. a feeling of impending disaster. A severe feeling of anxiety often underscores that paranoia. Because of its quickening influence on the CNS, meth impairs sleep. Consumers may remain awake for days at a time. Furthermore, meth may cause irritation in the stomach. Nausea and vomiting can follow. Worst of all, meth can cause protein to collect inside the heart and lungs.
What Happens to Long-Term Meth Users?
If a person consumes a drug often enough, they risk becoming addicted to it. Addiction specialists define addiction in terms of dependence and withdrawal. Think of dependence and withdrawal like two sides of a coin. Dependence means that a person needs a drug to function. If they do not have it, they withdraw. If withdrawal symptoms result, we can say that the person has become dependent. Therefore, we say that addiction has occurred.
Long-term crystal meth consumers may drift between anxiety and depression. As mentioned earlier, they will sleep poorly. Furthermore, their nutrition and physical wellness will suffer. Those who struggle with prolonged addiction can endure symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include things like:
- Delusions: believing or thinking things not grounded in reality
- Hallucinations: Perceiving things with the senses that do not exist
- Disturbing or violent behaviors toward self or others
Withdrawal Symptoms and Crystal Meth Detox
Above, you read about withdrawal. Withdrawal occurs when a dependent person does not consume. Withdrawal symptoms for crystal meth include:
- Increased cravings (typically lasting around 5 weeks)
- Depression (losing hope for a positive future)
- Decreased motivation and energy
- Trouble falling (or staying) asleep
- Suicidal thoughts
Detoxing From Crystal Meth
Crystal meth detox options do exist. Detox involves removing unhealthy or undesired elements from the body. When the body does this, the results can devastate the body and mind. Withdrawal symptoms, like those mentioned previously, tax a person. Symptoms like these can cause immense pain and anguish. However, the worse withdrawal symptoms seem to go away after a few weeks.
Detox involves observing and providing care for a person suffering from withdrawal symptoms. For symptoms related to anxiety and depression, a doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. Sleep promotes recovery. Therefore, a sleeping aid could ease some withdrawal symptoms. Physical symptoms, like nausea, require proper hydration and nutrition.
Does Crystal Meth Detox Require Immediate Medical Attention?
Crystal meth may aggravate some pre-existing mental or physical illnesses. But in general, detoxing from crystal meth does not require immediate medical attention. Granted, the withdrawal symptoms do seem unpleasant. But in most cases, crystal meth withdrawal will not turn fatal.
Getting In Touch with Someone Who Can Help
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