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Crystal Meth Overdose

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug, sold over the counter as a prescription for narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder. The legally sold drug is a very weak dose. Stronger doses of the drug are illegal and are used for recreational purposes. The illegal variant is called "Crystal Meth" and looks like a white powder which can be snorted up the nose, swallowed, smoked or dissolved and injected into the veins. Crystal meth when taken in low doses boosts alertness and reduces or completely blocks hunger and fatigue. At higher doses it can cause euphoria and/or exhilaration. At very high dosage levels, the person can exhibit highly erratic and odd behaviour, the least of which is agitated behaviour. When the drug is overdosed upon, it can be fatal or at the very least have serious complications.

The capacity of a person for crystal meth varies from person to person and from batch to batch. When this tolerance level is breached, it is termed as an overdose of the drug. Thus, there is no "safe" quantity a person may take making it a highly risky drug to take. Also, to prolong the euphoria a person may keep on taking crystal meth making it a highly addictive drug. Crystal meth overdose can be acute or chronic, with both being equally fatal.

Crystal meth overdose is a very serious condition. This is mainly because the onslaught of the symptoms of the drug is very sudden and the effect of the overdose is also very serious. This effectively reduces the chances of successful hospitalization and subsequent recovery. While recovery may be possible in some cases, in others the overdose may result in the need for a kidney transplant, coma or even death.

The effects/symptoms of Crystal Meth overdose are:

1. Chest Pains

Smoking a strong and high dose of Crystal Meth can lead to severe chest pains which can even result in cardiovascular collapse resulting from the strain on the heart. Cardiovascular collapse is an extremely common cause of death resulting from an overdose of crystal meth. Smoking crystal meth is considered the most dangerous way of taking the drug as the chemicals from the drug are sent straight to the brain.

2. Heart Attack / Heart Stoppage

Crystal meth increases the pressure on the heart as it results in an increased level of dehydration and an inability to expel heat efficiently. This leads to a sudden increase in body temperatures creating a higher need for oxygen. The heart goes into overtime to meet the body's increased demand for oxygen. This causes a spike in blood pressure levels, which may cause blood vessels to burst, heart attack(s) or even complete cardiac arrest.

3. Kidney Failure

Crystal meth overdose can sometimes also result in kidney failure. Such conditions may be hard to resolve depending on the person and the infrastructure of the hospital the patient is admitted to. In extreme cases, the user may require a kidney transplant.

4. Coma

The abuse of crystal meth may trigger muscle twitches, apart from undue agitation. Internally, it could result in multiple organ failure, including brain failure, ultimately leading to a comatose state.

5. Drug user sees spots and/or convulsions

Like the heart, the central nervous system also experiences extreme strain when a person overdoses on crystal meth. This strain on the nervous system can be noticeable by the drug user who may see spots because of the strain felt in the optic nerve. This is just a discomfort, but it acts as a warning sign for convulsions and other major complications resulting from crystal meth overdose.

The best way to treat a crystal meth overdose is by hospitalizing the user. In case overdose symptoms are discovered, friends, family or other observers should call up a hospital as quickly as possible, as the overdose may become fatal very fast. In the meantime, the person who has overdosed should not be moved. The doctors should be given as much information as possible about the overdose including the amount of meth taken, how it was taken and if possible the sample of the drug used as it could be used for analysis and better and faster recovery. Long-term crystal meth users should be put under effective treatment programs. Family support is very crucial in such cases.


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