Methamphetamine (also called meth) is a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational illicit drug. Crystal methamphetamine is a form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks. It is chemically similar to amphetamine, a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
Methamphetamine is generally available in four forms:
Speed – which comes in powder form and is typically of low purity.
Base – a damp oily substance with white to yellow or brown colour (also known as “pure”, “paste”, “wax”).
Pills/tablets – usually contain only a small dose of methamphetamine.
Crystal – purest form of methamphetamine and has a translucent to white crystalline appearance. The crystal form of the drug is also known as ice.
Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate, intense euphoria.
Because the "high" from the drug both starts and fades quickly, people often take repeated doses in a "binge and crash" pattern. In some cases, people take methamphetamine in a form of binging known as a "run," giving up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days.
Methamphetamine is known to have a high addiction liability (i.e. compulsive methamphetamine use) and dependence liability (i.e. withdrawal symptoms occur when methamphetamine use ceases). Heavy recreational use of methamphetamine may lead to a post-acute-withdrawal syndrome, which can persist for months beyond the typical withdrawal period. When people stop taking it, withdrawal symptoms can include:
Street Names for Methamphetamine Include:
Watch the Video Below to See How Methamphetamine Affects the Brain
Information provided above is courtesy of: https://www.drugabuse.gov
Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in many of the same health effects as those of other stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines. These include:
People who inject methamphetamine are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. These diseases are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids that can remain on drug equipment. Methamphetamine use can also alter judgment and decision-making leading to risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, which also increases risk for infection.
Methamphetamine use may worsen the progression of HIV/AIDS and its consequences. Studies indicate that HIV causes more injury to nerve cells and more cognitive problems in people who use methamphetamine than it does in people who have HIV and don't use the drug. Cognitive problems are those involved with thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.
Long-term methamphetamine use has many other negative consequences, including:
In addition, continued methamphetamine use causes changes in the brain's dopamine system that are associated with reduced coordination and impaired verbal learning. In studies of people who used methamphetamine over the long term, severe changes also affected areas of the brain involved with emotion and memory. This may explain many of the emotional and cognitive problems seen in those who use methamphetamine.
Although some of these brain changes may reverse after being off the drug for a year or more, other changes may not recover even after a long period of time. A recent study even suggests that people who once used methamphetamine have an increased the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nerves that affects movement.
Yes, a person can overdose on methamphetamine. An overdose occurs when the person uses too much of a drug and has a toxic reaction that results in serious, harmful symptoms or death.
In 2017, about 15 percent of all drug overdose deaths involved the methamphetamine category, and 50 percent of those deaths also involved an opioid, with half of those cases related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. (CDC Wonder Multiple Causes of Death—see #42 on Meth RR.) It is important to note that cheap, dangerous synthetic opioids are sometimes added to street methamphetamine without the user knowing
SIGNS OF OVERDOSE
Because of its high purity, meth overdose, or toxicity, can occur even with small doses, especially when mixed with other drugs. The greatest concern in meth overdose is the risk of seizures, stroke and heart attack. Emergency presentations featuring meth toxicity are less common than meth psychosis. However, risks to the cardiovascular system from high levels are significant, especially when there is a pre-existing health problem.
RESPONDING TO A METH OVERDOSE
Before you act, check for dangers such as needles.
Call 911, tell the operator your location, and stay on the line.
Move the person to a quiet, safe room away from bystanders, noise, excessive light, heat and other stimulation.
If confused or panicking, try to reassure them.
If overheating, try to cool them down by loosening outer clothing or putting a wet towel on the back of the neck or under their arms.
If you can’t get a response or the person is unconscious, put them in the recovery position.
If muscle spasms or seizures occur, remove anything from the immediate environment that might cause injury.
Meth use and abuse can rapidly manifest into addiction. Florida Center for Recovery offers addiction treatment programs for individuals struggling with meth addiction. Our mental health professionals are specialized in developing addiction treatment plans to address the client's substance abuse and the underlying issues associated with the development of the addiction. If you would like to know more about our meth residential program, connect with someone who can help you now by calling Florida Center for Recovery at our toll free number: 800-643-4005. Our recovery advisors are available 24/7 to provide you with information regarding treatment, admissions, insurance and private pay options.