What is Crystal Meth and what does it do?

Crystal Meth is the street name for the drug Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is an illegal drug in the same class as cocaine and other powerful street drugs. It is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (inhaling through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some even take it orally, but all develop a strong desire to continue using it. Crystal meth is used by individuals of all ages, but is most commonly used as a “club drug,” taken while partying in night clubs or at rave parties.

The drug creates a false sense of happiness and well-being, but once taken the effects can increase alertness, energy and concentration. When used in high doses it can induce euphoria, increase libido, and enhances self esteem. The risk of addiction is very high as the drug releases dopamine in the brain that causes all the above.

Physical effects

There are many physical effects Methamphetamine can cause including hyperactivity, dilated pupils, anorexia, restlessness, dry mouth, headaches, flushing, hypotension, hyperthermia, diarrhoea, constipation, dizziness, blurred vision, insomnia, twitching, itchy skin, acne, and in high doses this can create convolutions, heart attacks, strokes and death.

Withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms experienced from Methamphetamine include depression, fatigue, increased appetite, anxiety, headaches, irritability, excessive sleeping (hypersomnia), vivid or lucid dreams and suicidal thoughts. Long term use may cause ongoing depression, serious heart disease, anxiety and violent behaviours and suicide. Methamphetamine is neurotoxic. Long term use can increase the risk for Parkinson’s disease or a long-lasting psychosis similar to schizophrenia. Methamphetimine users may lose their teeth very quickly informally known as meth mouth.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. The recovery process is difficult and relapse is often common. The drug induces hyper-stimulation and when no longer in the system the onset of depression is common.

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