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How Dangerous Is Crystal Meth Addiction?
Crystal meth addiction is quite possibly one of the most dangerous forms of substance abuse. The reason for this is because of the short and long term effects that the substance has on the mind and body of the addict. Crystal meth is a powerful methamphetamine which stimulates the central nervous system. One factor which makes it more hazardous than other street drugs is the permanent damage it can inflict.
Immediate Consequences of Crystal Meth Use
When a user first consumes crystal meth they will experience a rush that is extremely intense. This intensity will be apparent regardless of how the drug is consumed, whether by injection or through smoking. The rush that the user experiences is replaced by a state of euphoria, where they will feel a tremendous sense of strength and vigor combined with reduced appetite. Crystal meth eliminates the need to sleep and users may quickly become delusional, which can result in unusual behavior that may result in self-inflicted violence or aggression towards others.
Consequences of Continued Crystal Meth Abuse
While crystal meth users will experience a sense of power and invulnerability in the short term, once they come down from the high they will be very depressed. Many will have an intense need to acquire more of the drug, so that they can consume it to again to experience the rush it gives them. Over time the substance takes its toll on the body. Because crystal meth users don’t eat or get much sleep, their health and weight rapidly declines.
If they don’t receive treatment at this stage, the problem will only get worse. Heavy meth users frequently develop a phenomenon which is referred to as “meth psychosis.” The slang term for this phenomenon is tweaking, and it has effects which are similar to Alzheimer’s disease. The addict will experience losses in memory, as well as perception and time. The confusion they display is often similar to patients who suffer from dementia.
Extreme aggression is a common consequence of long term crystal meth use, and this is why rehab facilities require addicts to be detoxed before they enter the premises, so that they do not pose a threat to the staff, the other patients or themselves. As with many drugs crystal meth also induces hallucinations and wild mood swings, and one physical feature that has become associated with the drug is missing teeth.
Crystal Meth Withdrawal
As you can probably imagine, withdrawing from crystal meth is anything but pleasant. When a user attempts to quit their body will respond, aggressively. Some of the symptoms which are associated crystal meth withdrawal include fear, incredible cravings, irritability, trembling, and nausea. Crystal meth withdrawal can be so extreme that addicts that attempt to quit cold turkey often relapse quickly, putting themselves in an even worse position. Even when an addict manages to overcome crystal meth abuse they may experience a number of long term problems, including psychosis, loss of memory, reduced attention span, lower motor function and a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.