Methamphetamine (Meth, Crystal Meth)

Methamphetamine, most commonly referred to as meth, is an extremely powerful and dangerous drug. Amphetamines are a class of drugs which are a potent central nervous system stimulant. Meth is primarily manufactured by combining amphetamines with other substances to increase its potency. Amphetamines can be found in many OTC (Over The Counter) drugs as well as prescription drugs used for the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) narcolepsy and obesity.

Meth has more prolonged effects on the central nervous system and brain than stimulants such as cocaine.

The meth that is sold on the streets is made from dangerous chemicals which can include drain cleaner, battery acid and antifreeze. Meth is sold in the form of pills, powder, or chunks.

Other common street names for Meth are: Crank, Glass, Ice or Speed.

It can be swallowed, inhaled (snorted), smoked or injected. Meth may appear as an odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

How does meth affect your brain and body?  Meth causes temporary mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria, and depression. Long-term effects include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, and permanent psychological damage.

Meth stimulates the central nervous system and creates a false sense of energy, and users will push the body faster and further than it’s meant to go. It elevates heart rate, blood pressure, and puts users at risk for stroke. It can cause aggression and violent or psychotic behavior.

Signs of Meth Use Include:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Nervous activity, like scratching and inability to sit still
  • Inability to focus
  • Irritability, dizziness, or confusion
  • Anorexia
  • Increased heart rate, and blood pressure which increase chance of stroke
  • Presence of paraphernalia, such as razor blades, mirrors, and straws, syringes, heated spoons, or surgical tubing

Other Risks Include:

  • Severe “crash” after the effects wear off.
  • Can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain.
  • Meth users who inject the and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

Meth can kill you. An overdose of meth can result in heart failure. Long-term physical effects include liver, kidney, and lung damage.

Meth use can also cause:

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Apprehension or paranoia
  • Elevated moods followed by depression

Detox and Withdrawal from Meth
Withdrawal symptoms from meth can be uncomfortable and lead you to resume use of meth to relieve them. That is one of the reasons why it is recommended that meth detox is not done at home. Going to a facility also removes the person from the environment where they used.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Aggressive Behavior

Many Meth users experience a “crash” after stopping use and can sleep for days while detoxing.

The amount of time required for detox from Meth varies depending on the amount which was being used but generally ranges from three to seven days.

Treatment for Meth Addiction
After detox, treatment can vary depending on an individual’s needs. The ranges include: Individual Counselling and Therapy, Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs, Inpatient Programs or Recovery Coaching.

For more information on what each of these options offer go to Alcohol and Drug Treatment.  Or contact us to book a free consultation to help you determine which option is best for you.