Street names include: crystal, ice, glass, crank, speed and many more.
Crystal Meth is a high-powered methamphetamine that has effects similar to cocaine. It is a stimulant. Also known as ice, due to its appearance, it is created synthetically from a careful mixture of chemicals. This process is called cooking. Production of crystal meth is also extremely hazardous and it is not uncommon to see major explosions in homemade meth labs. It is a Schedule II Controlled Substance according to the Federal Government, meaning that its distribution and use without a prescription is illegal. With that said, while methamphetamines do have a place in medical treatment, the risks of the drug are so significant that they are rarely prescribed.
Crystal meth is most often smoked, using specialized pipe-like drug paraphernalia, since this method of delivery offers an exceptionally fast high. However, meth can also be eaten, snorted and injected.
The Effects of Crystal Meth
The effects of crystal meth are significant and run the gamut of psychological and physical disorders. Mood swings, anxiety and thoughts of self-harm or harming others are quite common. Physical issues such as loss of appetite, sleep problems, heart rate and blood pressure problems and more are regularly seen.
Crystal meth is highly addictive and as such many patients show the signs of chronic abuse. These can include significant brain damage and associated cognitive impairment, as well as the much publicized weight loss and tooth decay called “Meth Mouth.”
Meth can also lead to stroke, heart attacks, coma and death.
Crystal Meth Treatment
A course of detoxification is required to flush the body of crystal meth. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, so medication is often prescribed by the supervising physician to lessen the discomfort and pain.
After completing a course of detox, patients will enter a structured treatment / recovery program that includes counseling to address the psychological underpinnings of the disease. This course of treatment will be determined by the treatment plan prepared by the facility’s clinicians with input from the patient themselves. Crystal meth treatment is plagued by a high drop-out rate and addicts are less responsive to medication and behavioral treatment than those abusing other illicit substances.
Because of the ravages of crystal meth and the fact that the drug is often impure, many patients will have to seek concurrent medical treatment for malnutrition, gum disease and other significant ailments.
Crystal meth is a dangerous and highly addictive drug that has, in recent years, seen plenty of airtime on television and film. Further, because the drug can be supplied by high volume superlabs and homemade in small batches, it has been hard to control supply, even with strict limitations on pseudoephedrine.