Crystal meth addiction
Once used to keep soldiers alert during World War II, crystal meth is a stimulant drug that causes feelings of euphoria and alertness. However, it also has a high potential for abuse and addiction and can have dangerous health and social effects, especially if chronically used.
Crystal meth addiction can be incredibly hard to overcome with the condition slowly chipping away at everything important in your life. Learn all about how the addiction develops, the signs to look out for and taking the first steps towards an addiction-free life.
What is crystal meth?
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is a synthetic stimulant Class A drug. It increases the activity of dopamine and adrenaline in the central nervous system. This can affect motor function, reward, learning, memory and pleasure. Crystal meth comes as a clear or blue coarse crystal, and taking this drug can easily lead to addiction.
What is crystal meth addiction?
Every time you take crystal meth, your tolerance builds up; this means you need more of the drug to produce the same euphoric effects. This can lead to more frequent use or taking larger doses to chase this high, otherwise known as crystal meth addiction. Addiction also comes in a physical form, as well as psychological, leaving you with intense cravings for the drug if you stop taking it for a certain period.
Some of the risk factors for developing an addiction include:
- Family history of substance misuse
- Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder
- Trauma such as childhood abuse
- Peer pressure and bullying
- Previous substance use disorder
How do I know If I am addicted to crystal meth?
The stigma around crystal meth addiction may stop people from admitting they have a substance use problem and seeking support. If you suspect that you or a loved one is addicted to crystal meth, contact us today.
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of crystal meth addiction so that you can recognise them in yourself or others and seek appropriate help. Below are the most common:
Physical signs and symptoms…
- Uncontrollable twitching
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Damage to mouth, teeth and gums (meth mouth),
- Loss of appetite
- Skin sores
- Increased tolerance
Chronic meth use signs and symptoms…
- Damaged blood vessels and dopamine-containing cells in the brain
- Increased risk of stroke and heart attack
- Liver and kidney damage
- Lung disease
- Memory loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Collapsed veins (if injected)
Psychological signs and symptoms…
- Anxiety and depression
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
- Intense mood swings
- Increased sex drive along with risk-taking behaviours
- Tweaking which may occur as lack of sleep
Behavioural signs and symptoms…
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Trying and failing to quit
- Losing interest in activities that used to be important
- Being unable to control amount or frequency of substance use
- Neglecting self-care and appearance
- Neglecting responsibilities
Tips for helping someone with a crystal meth addiction
Acknowledging that a loved one is suffering with an addiction can be extremely difficult. However, by gaining a fuller understanding of crystal meth addiction, you can better support them in getting the help they need.
Here are some tips on how to support them along the way:
Learn more about crystal meth addiction…
Understanding what your loved one is going through is the first step to helping them. If you have never suffered from addiction, it can be difficult to understand why someone’s behaviour would change so significantly. You can use this page and the other research available to learn more about crystal meth addiction and treatment options so you can approach your loved one from a place of knowledge.
Listen without judgement…
If you are suffering due to your loved one’s crystal meth addiction, it can be difficult not to get upset. However, this is unlikely to help the situation. Your loved one may already be blaming themselves or feeling the strain of stigma. When you speak with them, make sure that you actively listen to them without judgement.
Spend time together…
If your loved one is open to it, you can think of activities you can do together that do not involve drugs or alcohol, take up a new hobby together or just meet regularly to chat.
Look after yourself…
Helping someone who is addicted to crystal meth can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Make sure you are spending time doing things that you enjoy and that you have a way of releasing stress and relaxing.
Is there help available for crystal meth addiction?
If you are thinking of getting support for your crystal meth addiction, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of programmes and expert support to guide you along the way.
The first step of recovery is crystal meth detox, where you’ll allow the toxins to leave your body. After that you will go onto crystal meth rehab where you will address the underlying causes of your addiction.
At Oasis Recovery, we understand the importance of both of these steps and offer them as part of our comprehensive crystal meth addiction recovery programmes.
If you or a loved one need support for crystal meth addiction, get in touch with us today. Our dedicated team will be happy to discuss our treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have.