Most Americans have heard of people being addicted to crystal meth but don’t really know anything about where it originated, how it came to the US, or how much devastation it actually wreaks in its path. For this reason, we offer a brief outline of the history of crystal meth and the warning signs that your loved one may be addicted to this powerful drug.
Is Your Loved One Addicted to Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth is one of the most destructive and dangerous substances available today. It is responsible for many thousands of overdose deaths and has contributed to the complete destruction of communities all across the nation. Many burglaries and other criminal activity are directly related to crystal meth. Crystal meth has also created a public health crises in neighborhoods where production of the drug is conducted in makeshift basement labs or garages.
Many people today wonder if someone they know is addicted to crystal meth. Unfortunately, more people are using this substance than you might suspect. Therefore, your suspicions are not unfounded. It is far better to catch the addiction before it becomes life-threatening. For this reason, here are some signs or symptoms of crystal meth abuse to help you decide whether to take action.
Someone who is abusing crystal meth will most likely display some or all of the following:
- Sudden weight loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Significant changes in energy levels
- Borderline psychotic behavior
- Decayed teeth
- Dilated pupils
Also, you might notice some of the other common signs of addiction such as:
- Social isolation
- Staying out late at night
- New set of friends
- Lack of interest in daily responsibilities
- Poor hygiene
- Relationship problems
- Financial issues
Most addicts develop a personalized method for hiding the signs of addiction. However, eventually, they stop trying to hide it when the addiction progresses to a dangerous level. At that point, the only thing on the addict’s mind is obtaining more of the drug.
Why is Crystal Meth so Abundant?
Surprisingly, crystal meth is not the brain-child of some street-drug cartel. It was created by scientists in response to Federal regulations on phenyl-2-propanone, which is the key ingredient in amphetamines. Using ephedrine that is often found in over-the-counter medications, they created a crystallized drug that was twice as potent as amphetamine.
By the early 1990s, crystal meth super labs flourished, producing up to 1,500 times more meth than could be produced in home labs. Also, home labs were unstable due to the use of flammable chemicals. Many home labs caught fire or exploded. In 2006, meth was declared the most abused hard drug on the planet by the UN World Drug Report. At that time there were approximately 26 million meth addicts worldwide.
Long-Term Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse
Crystal meth is possible the most damaging drug available today. It can cause irreversible mental and physical damages. For instance, many former meth users are still suffering severe memory, judgment, and motor coordination impairments.
Some of the other long-term effects of crystal meth abuse can include the following:
- hyperactive, obsessive, violent behavior
- delusions, hallucinations
- paranoia, psychotic behavior
- formication (sensation of insects crawling on the body)
- limited ability to heal
- gaunt, frail appearance
- premature aging
- meth mouth (decaying teeth)
- promiscuous, unprotected sexual activity
- unwanted pregnancy
- HIV/AIDS, STDs, Hepatitis
Furthermore, crystal meth abuse can lead to life-threatening complications such as respiratory disease, heart disease, cardiac arrest, seizures, stroke, and death.
More information about becoming addicted to crystal meth can be obtained by calling our toll-free number. If you or a loved one are seeking addiction treatment, we will be happy to assist you in choosing a program designed for your specific needs.