One well-known substance that is highly addictive is methamphetamine, otherwise known as meth. While many people have heard of the drug methamphetamine, fewer people are aware of the different types of methamphetamine. One type of meth that is growing in popularity is crystal meth.
The question now becomes, what is the difference between meth and crystal meth? Throughout this article, we’re going to give you facts about meth vs. crystal meth so that you can know the dangers behind both.
What is Meth?
Methamphetamine, otherwise known as meth, is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug that’s known for its euphoric effects and the energy it triggers in users. Methamphetamine was developed early in the 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine. People originally used meth in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers.
Like amphetamines, methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria. However, methamphetamine differs from amphetamine in that, in comparable doses, much greater amounts of methamphetamine get into the brain. This makes methamphetamine a more potent stimulant.
Methamphetamine also has longer-lasting and more harmful effects on the central nervous system. Such characteristics make methamphetamine a drug with a high potential for widespread misuse. Though originally intended for medical purposes, methamphetamine is used recreationally by many for its euphoric effects and long-lasting highs that stimulate users for up to 12 hours.
Street Names for Meth
There are various different street names for the drug meth. Some of these street names include the following:
- No doze
- White cross
- Cotton candy
- Rocket fuel
- Scooby Snax
Types of Meth
As a fast-acting drug with more than double the potency of cocaine, a quality that dangerously increases the likelihood of addiction and overdose, meth is usually cut with other additives and substances to increase product sales.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, comes in a number of forms. This includes pills and an odorless powder that can be snorted or dissolved in liquid. Three major forms of meth are crystal meth, base, and speed.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is one form of the drug methamphetamine. Also known as Ice, crystal meth is a distilled form of meth. Crystal meth is more potent than meth. It comes in the shape of crystals or ice pieces. Rather than being snorted, crystal meth is commonly smoked, which gives an amplified version of euphoria to users.
Crystal meth can also be injected as the “ice” turns to liquid once heated. Because crystal meth is purer than regular meth, it’s more addictive. Some people have even been known to develop an addiction to crystal meth after one use. In fact, crystal meth creates an extended high that can last up to 24 hours after use.
Street Names for Crystal Meth
Just as there are street names for irregular meth, there are also street names for crystal meth. Due to the drug’s appearance, the more common street names for crystal meth include the terms “ice” or “glass.”
Meth and Crystal Meth Similarities
At the end of the day, both meth and crystal meth are forms of methamphetamine and highly addictive stimulant drugs with similar chemical makeups. Thus, people abuse meth and crystal meth for the same reason.
To receive the euphoric high feeling and boost of energy that using both of these types of meth substances gives. Essentially, crystal meth is just a crystalized and thus, a purer version of regular meth.
Differences Between Meth and Crystal Meth
Just as there are many similarities between meth and crystal meth, there are also many differences between meth and crystal meth. For one, crystal meth is a distilled form of meth and is thus more pure, potent, and addictive. In fact, crystal meth is the purest and most potent form of methamphetamine.
As a result, the high that crystal meth gives is stronger than that of regular meth and lasts much longer than that of regular meth. As mentioned earlier in this article, the high that crystal meth gives off can even last 24 hours after the drug’s use.
Appearance Between the Two
When comparing the differences between meth vs. crystal meth, crystal meth comes in a completely different form than regular meth. This form is crystals, or ice pieces.
The crystal form of crystal meth is very different looking from the white powder appearance of regular meth. It’s because of crystal meth’s ice-like form that the nickname for the drug is “ice.”
How Do People Use the Two?
As we already mentioned, even the way that people use meth vs. crystal meth differs. For example, most people consume regular meth by snorting it. Most people consume crystal meth though by smoking it or injecting it.
Because people smoke and inject crystal meth, it only makes it even easier to produce a high from the substance versus regular meth that people snort. As a result, people are more likely to binge and develop addictions to crystal meth after a small amount of use than they are for regular meth.
Signs and Symptoms of Meth and Crystal Meth Use
Using methamphetamine in any form can result in a number of harmful side effects and health risks. Some of the most common symptoms of meth abuse include:
- Dilated pupils
- Teeth grinding
- Meth sores
- Meth mouth
- Kidney failure
- Bacterial infections
Short-Term Effects of Meth vs. Crystal Meth Use
While some effects of meth vs. crystal meth are short-term, others are long-term. Some of the more short-term effects of meth and crystal meth use include:
- Increased energy levels
- Heightened awareness
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Decreased appetite
- Aggression/violent behavior
Long-Term Effects of Meth and Crystal Meth Use
Some of the long-term effects of meth and crystal meth abuse include the following:
- Repetitive motor activity
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Deficits in thinking and motor skills
- Memory loss
- Being easily distracted
- Aggressive and violent behavior
- Mood disturbances
- Severe dental problems
- Weight loss
Meth and Crystal Meth Addiction
While some forms of meth are more addictive than others, all forms of meth are highly addictive. Thus, it doesn’t take much meth use to develop a meth addiction. When people develop addictions towards meth, regardless of the form, they’ll need detox and addiction treatment to overcome it. Due to how addictive meth is, it’s best to attend inpatient rehab while in treatment for meth addiction.
Individuals who abuse meth will experience a “crash” period after they stop using the drug. This crash period can last a few days. Addicted or dependent meth users will experience methamphetamine withdrawal while detoxing from the substance. Methamphetamine withdrawal can last up to several weeks. The symptoms of meth withdrawal vary from person to person.
Factors Behind Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
The severity of the meth withdrawal side effects depends on a number of factors such as the length of time the individual used meth, the amount of meth used, the frequency of use, and whether the person that used the meth engaged in polydrug use or not.
Other factors such as the method by which a person consumed the drug (s), can affect withdrawal symptoms as well. Those who inject meth into their bodies will typically experience a longer, more intense withdrawal process than those who consume meth in other ways.
Withdrawal symptoms of meth are debilitating and painful which causes the user to take more of the drug to avoid feeling such unpleasant symptoms. Thus, many people that experience meth withdrawal symptoms due to their dependency on the substance only further perpetuate the cycle of addiction through their substance use habits.
Detox from methamphetamine should be done under medical supervision. This is because medical detox gives people that are detoxing from meth access to physicians who can prescribe them prescription medications to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms if they become too intense.
Medical detox also contains physicians and medical staff on standby 24/7 during the detox process so that they can assist detox patients if anything goes wrong. Thus, to be safe during drug detox, especially to a substance as addictive as meth, people should always attend medical detox. Once detox from meth is complete, recovering individuals can seek counseling and other addiction treatments to help them achieve recovery and learn how to maintain sobriety long-term.
Attend Detox and Rehab for Meth and Crystal Meth Addiction At Florida Center for Recovery
Florida Center For Recovery (FCR), a drug and alcohol rehab facility established in Florida in 2002, offers on-site medical detox under physician care and an experienced professional medical staff. Through the detox services offered by FCR, detox is made as comfortable as possible.
On top of offering top-notch detox services, Florida Center for Recovery offers a wide variety of nationally renowned addiction treatment programs that are both specialized by the substance and individualized by the patient. Thus, you can rest assured that you’re in great hands when receiving addiction treatment at our rehab facility.
If you or someone you know is addicted to meth, medical treatment is available. To learn more about how addiction treatment can help you or someone you love manage their addiction to meth or any other substance, please contact us today!
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.