Crystal methamphetamine is a drug that is a pure form of methamphetamine which could be smoked. It is a stimulant that is extremely addictive, and which if used on a regular basis can lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence. This class of drugs is also known as speed, ice, or crank.
Methamphetamine was synthesized by a Japanese chemist in the year 1919 and it was used during the Second World War to keep the troops awake and to ensure that the workers in factories retained their energy. Addiction to crystal meth is one of the biggest problems in the United States today. There are as many as 1.5 million people addicted to crystal meth in the country alone.
These drugs are similar to cocaine in their effect but are stronger and their effect lasts longer. The reason meth is this highly addictive is because it works by activating the pleasure centers of the brain that creates a sensation of well-being. When a user makes use of meth, their heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of respiration increases which cause extreme elation. This 'high' that is experienced tends to be highest when a person uses the drug for the first time. Because users tend to believe that the 'high' will remain as intense every time, they continue using it, but they do not understand that the intensity cannot be repeated every time.
How Does Methamphetamine Affect You?
Crystal methamphetamine has such an intense effect that not only does it affect a user physically but also psychologically. The many effects that regular use of crystal meth can have on your system are listed in this section. One of the most intense changes that occur in a person as a result of using meth is the absolute change in their appearance. Heavy use of meth usually results in the blood vessels getting constricted.
This in turn causes the flow of blood to different parts of the body to get affected. The result is that the tissues of the body become damaged and the ability of the body to repair itself is affected. Continuous usage also makes the skin prone to acne, body sores, and causes loss of luster and elasticity. Often users also hallucinate that they have bugs crawling under their skin (a condition known as formication), which results in skin picking that also causes sores. This is one of the most evident change caused due to prolonged meth use.
Physiological Effects of Crystal Meth Use
Prolonged use of crystal meth may cause many severe physical effects. The change in appearance is just one of the more obvious changes that one can see. Given below is a list of the probable physical effects of meth use.
- Dilation of pupils
- Dry mouth
- Lack of coordination in movement
- Sting traces on arms and legs
- Blurred vision
Psychological Effects of Crystal Meth Use
People often ask the question, how does methamphetamine affect behavior, and the answer to this can be varied. As with the physical changes and conditions that can develop, there are many behavioral changes that a meth user may display.
- Increased alertness
- Mood swings
- Delusions of grandeur
- Hallucinatory behavior
- Misplaced feeling of powerfulness and invincibility
- Obsessive behavior
Often when the use of crystal meth is stopped, the user tends to display extreme withdrawal symptoms. These could include fatigue, depression, increase in appetite, anxiety, irritability, hypersomnia, vivid dreams, deep sleep, and in some cases, even suicidal tendencies. Withdrawal periods may differ but usually last for weeks and even months in case of heavy users. The severity is largely dependent on the time period of the addiction and the amount of crystal meth taken.
Crystal methamphetamine addiction, over a period of time, can be potentially life-threatening because it slowly yet steadily affects the body and the mind. It is therefore important that necessary steps be taken in order to help an addict reduce and ultimately stop his addiction to crystal meth.