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Crystal-Meth Side Effects

Crystal-meth is a hazardous and prohibited "street" adaptation of the stimulant drug methamphetamine, and users smoke a rock version or "crystal" form of the drug. Even though methamphetamine is legally prescribed for a restricted amount of medical uses, the sum prescribed legally is much less than those abusing the drug. Crystal-meth has numerous demoralizing side-effects on the body and mind of those who use it.

Also called tweak, glass, tina, or ice, Crystal-meth is really methamphetamine in crystallized form. It is dangerously powerful and can cause users to stay awake for several days and sometime weeks at a time. A crystal-meth high results in energy and an intense euphoria that can last for twelve hours or longer. It can be smoked, slammed; or shot-up, taken orally, snorted, or taken through the anus. The side effects experienced by crystal-meth addicts are devastating.

Crystal-Meth Side Effects

Physically, crystal-meth wears the body down. Most users will develop sores and acne from picking at imaginary bugs. The skin's elasticity is lost, and can appear gray and ashen. If meth is used for long periods, it can result in swift tooth-decay, also called meth-mouth, which can lead to tooth loss.

Due to crystal-meth's stimulant properties, the brain's neurotransmitters are affected. In other words, the brain's "feel good" system is elevated by taking the drug. However, after the "fake euphoria" effects ware off, usually within 6 to 12 hours, the big high becomes a huge low. Afterwards, users become aggressive, violent, erratic, and agitated, Known as the "ants in your pants" syndrome. Paranoia, anxiety, visual and auditory hallucinations are not uncommon. They include suicidal and homicidal thoughts.

Other crystal-meth side effects include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Profuse sweating
  • Weight loss
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Hyperthermia
  • Psychosis
  • Distressed sleep patterns along with insomnia
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Intensified aggressiveness
  • Possible fatal seizures and convulsions
  • Constriction of the artery walls

If an overdose happens from the use of crystal-methamphetamine, users can suffer from irreversible brain damage, short-term hallucinations, kidney and liver failure or damage, long-term or permanent paranoia, and muscle breakdown. An overdose, which can be fatal, can be attributed to cardiac arrest, stroke, or hyperthermia.

Long-term meth use can contribute to ongoing and at times permanent damage on both a physical and psychological level. Long-standing effects of crystal-methamphetamine include among other things:

  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Anxiety disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Lung damage
  • Brain damage
  • Depressive disorder
  • Vein collapsed due to intravenous injections
  • Depressive disorder
  • HIV risk from injections
  • Volatile mood-swings and amphetamine psychosis
  • Abscesses
  • Excessive teeth grinding resulting in collapsed jaw
  • Dry mouth
  • Deviated membranes if snorted
  • Increased heart rate

Additional acute side-effects from recurring crystal-meth usage is the possibility of developing an addiction or dependency. Addiction and chemical-dependency can happen when someone has a genetic vulnerability to addiction, or, through continuous use, a serious habit can develop. Addiction is another side-effect of crystal-meth usage. It is an evolving disease that includes these symptoms and consequence:

  • Mood swings
  • Diminished self-control
  • Unceasing drug seeking mannerisms
  • Lack of personal care responsibilities
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • A "don't care" attitude about health risks
  • High risk behavior
  • loss of a general and social life

An individual with an addiction to crystal-meth may experience withdrawal-symptoms during recovery. Giving up meth will cause certain withdrawal-symptoms lasting for several weeks. Crystal-meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anger
  • Strong cravings
  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Concentration and memory difficulties
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Acute depression along with suicidal tendencies
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia
  • Frustration and irritability

Whether it is crystal-meth or any other powerfully addictive drug, it always ends up at the cost of the one using the drug by altering their lives completely. Crystal-meth side effects have been known to cause lasting life changing consequences and most of them not too good. The ability to function "normally" either during work, or with personal relationships, takes a back seat. Living day-to-day becomes a task. Negative crystal-meth side-effects that may not affect the individual as far as their mental or physical state is concerned directly, but can have far reaching consequences including individuals being refused visas, jobs, and healthcare due to their crystal-meth issues.

The above lists are many of the side-effects addicts experience. Unfortunately, these side-effects do not deter users from using more and more of this powerful drug. Family and friends may try to intervene and assist the individual with their recovery; however, it all boils down to the person. If they have the desire and the will to free themselves of such a destructive drug as crystal-meth, they will find themselves on the road to a long, healthy recovery.


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