Facts About Meth
Have you ever wanted to hear the truth about meth facts, figures, statistics, and effects? There is more than you may have guessed!
There is a wealth of information floating around about methamphetamines, from information about where it came from and who discovered it to how it affects the human body and whether it is addictive.
All About Meth Use
Meth is a versatile drug that can be used in many different ways, depending on the form of meth, available utensils, and intended usage. For instance, a powder substance can be mixed with liquids to create an injectable drug, and methamphetamine crystals can be crushed and smoked. Methamphetamine crystals are more commonly known as crystal meth, and this substance is most often read about in newspapers and website reviews, and is the most common form of meth used by teenagers.
In addition to injection and smoking, meth can also be inhaled,injected into the anus/urethra, swallowed, or snorted.
• Injection: Crystals are crushed (with or without dissolving in water) prior to injection. Some say to use the largest vein that you can see when injecting for the first time, but others remind new or experienced IV users that improper placement can lead to abscesses. Injections can be easy to notice if the gauge is not right as well.
• Smoking: Crystals are placed into a glass tube and a lighter is used to heat the glass, never actually touching the tube. Smoke will rise from the tube as the meth is heated, and the user inhales the smoke as quickly as possible. Meth can also be smoked using aluminum foil with similar methods.
• Inhalation: Burn the vapors much the same as you would for the smoking method, but use aluminum foil or an oil-burner to inhale the fumes easier. This method is listed as difficult for those without experience.
• Anus/Urethra Placement: The rock is mixed with water and inserted into the anus or urethra with a syringe. Before you use the syringe make sure to remove the needle. This method claims to work fast but is not for new users.
• Swallowing: Swallow the rock whole. Using this method causes mouth sores and tooth decay very quickly, so it is not a good choice for someone trying to hide meth use.
• Snorting: Meth crystals are crushed into a fine powder, much like cocaine dust. A straw, pen, or other small tube is then used to snort the meth dust into the nasal cavity. Since meth is a natural decongestant, users claim that nasal passages are never clogged with this method, but it can cause damage to the nasal cavity.
Effects of Meth Use
Meth can have both long and short-term effects on the body, mostly depending on how it is used and for how long. These effects range from psychological to visual, and are widely the same for men and women. A few unpleasant side effects are still felt long after treatment has begun. Some of the more common unpleasant side effects include:
|Anger or rage||Tooth decay and loss|
|Paranoia resembling schizophrenia||Mouth sores|
|Long-term psychosis||Increased tolerance to sexual stimuli|
|Irritability, especially between highs||Dilated pupils|
|Hallucinations||Increased heart rate or tachycardia|
|Repetitive behavior resembling OCD||Increased blood pressure|
|Psychomotor animation||Numbness or tingling|
|Obsessive behavior||Insomnia lasting several days|
|Anxiety or nervousness||Constipation|
|Decreased or lack of appetite||Extreme weight loss (only while drug is used, then weight is gained back)|
|Feeling of bugs crawling on/in skin||Restlessness or twitchiness|
|Depression or thoughts of suicide||Dry mouth|
|Insecurity||Headaches, including migraines|
|Lack of self confidence||Heart arrhythmias|
|Decreased self image||Heart attack|
|Increased desire for privacy||Acne or facial sores|
|Ashy or pale skin tone|
|Dizziness and lack of balance|
If all of the effects were negative or unpleasant no one would ever get addicted to the drug, so it stands to reason that there are pleasant effects as well. Most of these are short-term, lasting only until the drug wears off in anywhere from eight to twenty-four hours, but very powerful, providing the lure to use meth in some form. Each time the user experiences these highs, they crave more, and in order to achieve the feeling they carve they are forced to continue to use more of the drug. The pleasant side effects of meth include, but are not limited to:
• Increased libido
• Increased alertness
• Increased energy
• Heightened concentration
• Rapid weight loss
• Improved self esteem
• Heightened metabolism
Meth Addiction and Treatment
Meth can be extremely addictive, and even first time users can begin to develop a tolerance for the drug. As the user develops a tolerance, more of the drug has to be used in order to achieve a high, but most users say that you can never duplicate the same rush you experience that first time. Addiction is not overcome quickly; it can take years (decades for some) to get rid of the cravings, psychological effects, and physical side effects.
Many doctors and drug experts say that meth is second only to heroin in difficulty to treat, mostly due to the fact that the side effects can take six months to one year to begin to dissipate. Withdrawals are painful and the psychological/psychosomatic effects are very debilitating. There are several effective treatment methods, but no method is perfect for everyone. It depends largely on the person, since everyone responds differently to different treatment methods.
The most common first step is detox, where the person begins to get rid of the drug from their body by discontinuing meth use. The most effective detox is at a rehab or treatment center that combines lack of use with a lot of support, therapy, and love from experienced, trained professionals. Once detox is complete the therapy and support should continue for whatever amount of time it takes to be ready to move forward, often at least six months.