Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine. Its name comes from the “crystal” like the appearance of the drug. Highly addictive and illegal, crystal meth is a stimulant. Stimulants increase activity in the body and central nervous system. They elevate mood, increase the ability to focus, increase energy, decrease appetite, and can provide a false sense of well-being and happiness. At high doses stimulants produce euphoria, give the user a rush, and decrease the need for sleep. Crystal meth is either smoked, snorted, or used intravenously. Some crystal meth users will go on binges where they will stay up using the drug for 3 to 4 days at a time. This binge is followed by a “crash effect” where users will then experience fatigue, anxiety, extreme depression, and long patterns of sleep. This is due to the drug’s effect on dopamine levels in the brain. Methamphetamine produces a surge of dopamine when it is taken, so when the drug is no longer being used, the individual’s dopamine levels decrease dramatically causing the user to “crash”.
How Crystal Meth Destroys Your Appearance
A lot of people have seen the devastating effects that crystal meth has on a user from before and after photos that often surface online. Crystal meth causes quick and dramatic changes to a person’s appearance. One of the big reasons for this is the wide destruction of muscle tissue and blood vessels in the body.
Physical Side Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction
Crystal meth has devastating effects on the brain and body. It can severely affect memory and emotion, especially in chronic users. And repeated use of the drug can cause severe psychological effects as well as quickly destroy one’s appearance. Crystal meth abuse side effects cause the body to be unable to heal itself like it did before the drug abuse started. Crystal meth also terribly affects a person’s teeth. This is often known as “meth mouth”. The National Institute of Health’s Dentistry Journal says:
In the past two decades, the synthetic style and fashion drug “crystal meth” (“crystal”, “meth”), chemically representing the crystalline form of the methamphetamine hydrochloride, has become more and more popular in the United States, in Eastern Europe, and just recently in Central and Western Europe. “Meth” is cheap, easy to synthesize and to market, and has an extremely high potential for abuse and dependence. As a strong sympathomimetic, “meth” has the potency to switch off hunger, fatigue, and pain while simultaneously increasing physical and mental performance. The most relevant side effects are the heart and circulatory complaints, severe psychotic attacks, personality changes, and progressive neurodegeneration. Another effect is “meth mouth”, defined as serious tooth and oral health damage after long-standing “meth” abuse; this condition may become increasingly relevant in dentistry and oral- and maxillofacial surgery. (NIH)
Crystal meth decreases saliva production or dries out an individual’s mouth. As a result, the acidity of the mouth eats away tooth enamel and causes decay. This causes users to experience broken, rotted, and discolored teeth. Crystal meth use also increases anxiety, and anxiety will often lead to a person clenching and grinding their teeth. Clenching and grinding can further damage teeth that have already been weakened. Meth can cause acne to develop on people’s faces and bodies and dry and itchy skin as well. This can lead to a behavior known as dermatillomania or the constant need to pick the skin. Sores will then develop which can both take a long time to heal and also eventually leave scars. Meth will also cause the skin to lose elasticity, so users will appear much older than they are.
Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to crystal meth, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based treatment programs to cater to the individual needs of each patient. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.