It goes by many names, speed, crank, glass, ice, etc. but whatever you call it, crystal meth is a particularly brutal drug.
As recently as 2017, roughly 15% of all drug overdose deaths involved methamphetamines.
What Is Crystal Meth?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes meth as “a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Crystal methamphetamine is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks.”
An extremely potent substance, crystal meth is relatively new in the pantheon of drugs. Amphetamines were first synthesized in the late 19th century and crystal meth didn’t come about until 1919. The “crystal” in the name comes from the fact that it was in crystalline form.
Additionally, crystal meth is highly water-soluble which made it very suitable for injection. Something that became a major issue decades later.
The drug can be taken in many ways, it can be smoked, swallowed as a pill, snorted or, as mentioned, injected with the method of intake altering the effect. Smoking and snorting it, for example, cause an immediate rush and can actually amplify the potential for addiction.
Is Crystal Meth Addictive?
In a word: yes.
Meth is highly addictive, so much so that it’s listed as a schedule II drug. The description of what defines a schedule II drug sheds some light on just how intense this substance is, as per the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, “schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous”.
But what makes it so addictive and dangerous?
Crystal meth releases an unbelievable amount of dopamine into the brain that creates intense feelings of euphoria which a user starts to crave almost immediately. From here a dependency starts to build and as a person continues using, the brain gets rewired, turning dependency into a full-blown addiction.
That all happens quickly too, it’s not a slippery slope by any means. The drug is dangerous all around but arguably the most insidious part is the speed with which it can hook someone.
How to Get Help With a Crystal Meth Addiction
Beating a crystal meth addiction is a tall order to do on your own and help goes a long way towards a successful recovery. What exactly is “help” in the context of meth addiction though?
It all starts with a detox. Ridding your body of the toxins is the first step towards recovery and getting clean. Doing this under medical supervision is important because detox means you’ll be experiencing withdrawal symptoms and, being perfectly honest, it won’t be pleasant.
However, going through that under the watchful eye of compassionate professionals who understand where you’re coming from makes it easier to endure and get through.
Once past that, the real work of recovery can begin in earnest. Usually, that comes in the form of inpatient treatment. Where detox focused on physical addiction, inpatient rehab works on the mental side. The emphasis is on counseling, group therapy and other proven methods of treatment.
The goal is simultaneously to understand your addiction and equip you with a set of tools to help you deal with difficult situations that may arise once you go back to your regular life. Situations that previously may have driven you to use.
Following that is aftercare which can come in the form of 12-step programs, sober living homes and more. The goal being to have a safe place you can go, a supportive environment that’s totally free of substances.
If crystal meth is a problem in your life or that of someone you love, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida and we can get you the help you need or at least give you some timely advice.